Today's poem is by Rhoda Janzen

Ghost Train

The March heart of winter chipped
ice from the sky. I stood on the corner
in a Doctor Zhivago hat I'd borrowed
from my hosts to walk their dog.

A panhandler pressed me for change,
but nothing changed. Although I and
the dog had just arrived at this corner,
we felt it to be the same corner of

previous arrivals, the same fur hat
from the universal closet. The tracks
shivered, prescient, the train somehow
ghostly, backlit a luminous green,

bright as the drop of a guillotine. I
suddenly realized how dark it had got,
how dark it had been gradually getting
all along. In the train's phosphorescence,

I glimpsed commuters with heads bent
over newspapers. A ghost conductor
punched tickets as if in the pulling
away from the platform of this life

we need proof that we have lived.
I did not desire to stop at this or
any station. I wanted to hurtle
forever parallel to these streets but

above them, nothing to teach, have,
leave, or know. Here and not here,
the life under this hat has disappeared,
clean gone before you saw it go.

Copyright © 2006 Rhoda Janzen All rights reserved
from Beloit Poetry Journal
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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