By: Daniel Ames

beyond the Elysian Fields
in a swath of scrub oak and gravel
in the distance a small farmhouse
without windows or a door
a hawk flies overhead with a red tail
and an eye for what's beyond
this is where you and I now stand

the railroad ties soaked in creosote
black and fissured
the ghosts of tall weeds
are carried along by the wind
the silence presses on our temples
the heat smothers our skin
you and I and the glassy scent of gasoline

there may have been plans
to keep laying track
we can almost make out the linear banks
of earth ahead
a heat wave shimmers
beyond the broken landscape
where you and I try to see

you turn and look back
I was waiting for you to do it
I would have been disappointed if you hadn't
because then the years along the way
would have tendrils
viscous remnants of you and I

you turn back to the front
and as your gaze passes me
I wonder if you look at me
or if you continue to swivel
without interruption or contemplation
toward the precipice ahead
neither you nor I comprehend

at long last the faint smile comes
and I am thrilled and reassured
I take your hand and your calm acceptance
like a thousand times before
the hawk is gone and a young child
comes out of the farmhouse
she hears the train that is you and I

Daniel Ames
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Posted by V. Mahfood - 2010
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