Stanzas Composed on a Nonexistent Train to Richmond (Country Ground)

Passenger child screeches
as urgently as the vehicle that
presses tightly against metal rails.

Passing by McHenry where
the artsy friend resides,
on the way to see a dear aunt.

Oh, how her garden has matured!
Oh, how her shrine to Daughter B
pays respect to itself each and every day.

A curious look as the
near-Wisconsin border bystanders
drive for a quiet evening and
a night on the under populated town.

They sing out and rejoice
as the loco locomotive
passes by their rural abodes.

Newly furnished nests
sit atop castle-like trees.
Willow weeps for all.
Maple is too sweet for words.
Oak’s wisdom is biased and
leaves the onlookers be.

Sleeping family regrets the
scenery surrounding the
multiple stops that the train makes.

No one sees us approaching,
but the ticket was paid for.
Lessons learned from the conductor.

When the end of the line appears,
passenger child wonders if
this contraption could make haste.
Her life was a flash forward recall.

Z.M. Wise

Z.M. is a poet, editor, occasional essayist, and poetry activist. He has been a written-word poet for almost two decades and a spoken-word poet for four years and is co-owner and co-editor of Transcendent Zero Press, an independent publishing house for poetry that produces an international quarterly journal known as Harbinger Asylum, with founder Dustin Pickering. He has published four books of poetry, including: Take Me Back, Kingswood Clock! (MavLit Press), The Wandering Poet (Transcendent Zero Press), Wolf: An Epic & Other Poems (Weasel Press), as well as a book-long confessional poem, Cuentos de Amor (Red Ferret Press). You can find him on Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, Soundcloud, and Linkedin.

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