Mimi Ferebee


a metal log it is,
rushing, gliding, skating through time,
she is a generation of memories—

yet keeps such wonders to herself,
not even whispering to passengers
about the black-strapped boy on the tracks, his heart
pounding, telling him to hop
to the side, but adrenaline robs his senses,
shakes him like a friend, greedy, & yelling ready-or-not
here she comes

& she does, flying by barely missing him
at the last minute, & what of his playmates,
those cute, strawberry, mississippi girls, 
the ones with pearled magnolias braided into their hair?

that southern drawl sweeping under
their feet, swoops over platted scalps like
double-dutch phone cords

& they all pause, laughing, when he catches
his balance on the other side of the tracks

it was close this time, sure, but not close enough
for their undivided attention

& the train?
she just whistles her chain-gang song,
watching it all, being steered straight, guided gently to the right, left,
that aged growl is the hum of her rigidity scoot,
an over-ground railroad song that she keeps,
undoubtedly to herself

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