Crossing

STOP    LOOK    LISTEN
 as gate stripes swing down
  count the cars hauling distance
    upgrade through town:
     warning whistle, bellclang,
      engine eating steam,
       engineer waving,
        a fast-freight dream:
         B&M boxcar,
          boxcar again,
           Frisco gondola,
eight-nine-ten,
 Erie and Wabash,
  Seaboard, U.P.,
   Pennsy tankcar,
twenty-two, three,
 Phoebe Snow, B&O,
thirty-four, five,
 Santa Fe cattle
  shipped alive,
   red cars, yellow cars,
    orange cars, black,
     Youngstown steel
      down to Mobile
       on Rock Island track,
fifty-nine, sixty,
 hoppers of coke,
  Anaconda copper,
   hotbox smoke,
eighty-eight,
 red-ball freight,
  Rio Grande,
   Nickel Plate,
    Hiawatha,
     Lackawanna,
      rolling fast
       and loose,
ninety-seven,
 coal car,
  boxcar,
   CABOOSE!

by Philip Booth

Other poems of PHILIP BOOTH (12)

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