Track: Turi

Track: Turi
Turi, 1980
September 20, 2007

My ear on the rail,
something I’d read in a book,
I proclaimed sagely that
something was coming.
The thrum in the rail
a cicada buzz
heralding the approaching storm,
a minor earthquake
making the pebbles dance
a jitterbug with the distant diesel.

Or not so distant.

My companions scattered
leaving me lying on the ground,
my face on the fiery steel.

Around the bend
not twenty paces away
bigger than a house
it bears down on me
whistle screaming like a tortured soul.

Leaping for the side of the cutting
gaining the edge
just as the behemoth
roared past,
an angry beast
dragging vacuum in its wake.

Heart a running rabbit
trying to break through my ribs,
forty eight cars, pounding past,
each one no farther away
than the reach of my fingers,
feet scrabbling at the
crumbling red clay.
Ten, twenty, a thousand years
as the KR express
bellowed past, shaking the whole world,
inches from my slipping Batas.



around the next bend
and gone.

Fly and Douglas
on top of the cutting
laughing uncontrollably at my
weak kneed terror,
the scream I didn’t even know
poured from my lips

Then I, too, was laughing,
crying, laughing,
relief, terror, and
joy to be alive,
to be so very alive