Coming to New England by Train [from Vanishing Tracks]

Coming to New England by Train

The rocks are back, drifting just above
The earth’s surface like wildflowers along the tracks.

First a few outcroppings as if someone dropped rock seeds
By mistake, then wilder bunches of them, knee-high humps

Like micro mountain ranges. Soon they are shaping the landscape.
They are the engineers in charge, edging the banks heaving

To the tree line. They make walls but are not rocks with a mind
For mortar. They settle for nothing but themselves.

In Connecticut you see the first rocks on lawns,
In Rhode Island they are primary lawn ornaments

Bigger than the people who lived there. Clearly the house was designed
Around the rock. Wildflowers have been planted

At the foot of the rock. I know I am home because the clouds
Stick out of the sky like dry stones in calm blue water.


[Another poem from the sequence “Markers,” in which all the poems were written during a train trip from Virginia to New England and back.]

2 thoughts on “Coming to New England by Train [from Vanishing Tracks]

  1. lillian

    Especially like the last two lines! And your poem brings back so many memories of riding across the countryside, on two lane highways with our windows wide open in a hot July, from Illinois to Tampa, Florida for a grandparent visit. You’re right, the decorations in the front yards changed as we got further and further south. I most liked the houses with wooden decorations for sale out in the front yard….and then there were the occasional places with the painted on velvet pictures for sale….really big so you could see the subject as you rode by….so many of Elvis! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the memories this morning πŸ™‚


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s