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Sheri Gabbert



I try to slip away 

near the ever busy track

to watch the afternoon train.

I know these tracks lead



They come from rusty towns

scattered among dry winter wheat

and withered field after field

of Kansas corn and cattle

clustered on barren ground. 


Trains pass here between 

grain elevators and the WPA

high school no on learns 

in, but that we all love 

on Friday nights.


Kansas will never be far enough 

behind me, for better or worse,

like my marriage and bruises,

no matter how sanctified both are 

on my Sunday face.


After the train has passed on time,

one more time, my old boots whisper,

shake off the prairie,

only the dying stay here. 

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