People leave my life like
strangers from a train.
Here in the mountains, snaking
along the high grade,
the engine bursts around a curve
into its own light.
Drawn moon whips across the sky
from right to left and back again,.
circling what we cannot see.
Whistle pales ahead.
Predawn stop at a sleeping station.
Some have reached their destination,
noiselessly step down to slip away.
And we others journey on without them—
pull away from the flagging lamps
into new darkness.
Sometimes I can see beyond the window.
Sometimes the glass gives only reflections:
years past, old trains, sleeping
on the shoulders of strangers.
Women Writers, June 2009