“Tracks” by Ella Goldberg

Ella Goldberg (age 10)


What time is it?
Train’s coming?
No. Just lights from a rushing truck.
Gazing out my icy window:
street lamps hanging over sleeping cars
like a mother bird feeding her babies.
Bike rack is a caterpillar squirming
in the framed painting posted yellow dots
show Union to Camden two minutes late
Union to Camden eight minutes late.
The metal newspaper sign slapping in the wind
is like a heartbeat.
All the people have vanished

Rumblerumble rumblerumble rumble
Which way? Right, left?
A flash of light
The train pockets beam on the tracks
Engine growls
Then slides away into the sleepy silence

Bus shelter light shining on people
with heavy coats, black briefcases dragging
straight faced tired heads looking at pavement
like soldiers marching
right, left, right, left.
The clip clop of shoes gets louder as they cross the tracks
and come closer
Do they see me?
Tied oxfords
weathered woolen hats
striped scarves
leather gloves
Trying to find the right match like a memory game.
Strapped backpack
long jacket
a smile

from 2016 Rattle Young Poets Anthology

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