Eyes on the Nine Thirty-Seven

By John Grey

The locomotive screeched to a blinding
Halt. A long day from port of Saginaw,
Signalman lamp swaying; in cabin, raw
Eyed men, shedding soot, coughing, unwinding,
Drinking black coffee, weary bones grinding
From sweaty toil sating the furnace maw
Many miles hugging to Lake Huron’s shore
But to an inventive childa finding,

As winter night, eager eyes, window deep.
Gape at smokestack hissing, steam dome blood-red,
Engine to sidetrack shunted, monster creep
Of steel and steam. And when all prayers are said
They’re not to heavenbut I fall asleep
Petitioning the railway gods instead