England by Rail

A crane in a scrap metal yard
unclenches a great, magnetic claw.
Breast-shaped mounds of soil
sit two fields away from the pit,
a future fish pond.
Gulls glean in the plow’s dark wake.
A large, white dog follows
two boys along a dry creek
while we in our fast train
hurtle backwards over the sleepers
in their gravel beds.

A signal goes out
& we creep slowly through the night
so the driver can inspect the track.
Three stops ahead, another train catches fire
& we wait for more than an hour
on some siding between stations.
The darkness is busy with our reflections.
We move about looking for outlets
to recharge our mobile phones.
Here & there an anonymous light
glimmers orange or blue.

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