Boxcar / Joseph Enzweiler


On the prairie of Saskatchewan
a single boxcar stands
on rusted siderails plunging
through lost rusted grain.
Both side doors now stand open
to a hundred miles of wheat beyond,
the shadows long ago drained
in the ground. Easily the wind comes,
wheel after wheel the hours turn,
rolling out and into history.
The men who rode here, the rags
of their eyes, blow now
in the great steel window.
Their pockets still dream
with fists of dust in them,
their money spent on squares
of the sky. Far-off lightning pours
under the prairie moon.
Through those doors purple night
gathers, where a black rain funnel
draws to its fierce whirling heart
those lost ones, the steel machinery
of their hope, a vein of light
blinding in the marrow drawn,
hurricane to the sky, fires
of all that was in them
to say they were for something,
to say it is not complete,
that armies of the angels
still collide above, swords drawn
in passion for our souls.

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