Curled up in the open bay window,
she watched as the moon glinted
through traveling clouds.
was her nature,
but tonight she felt mostly alone.
It was the whistle.
That long slow
whistle held her attentionon
this cold November night.
She pictured hobos and tar.
She smelled the odor of black coal and diesel.
She could feel the rumbling thumps
of the wheels as they moved
along the tracks --
the monotonous sound of that
one loose tie
as the train rumbled to places unknown;unseen.
Her mind began to imagine stars speeding by
in open boxcars;
the crisp smell of fresh air and trees --
the feeling of freedom.
She closed her eyes against the night
and concentrated on the sound
long slow whistle.
It meant places not visited
and people not known.
It not only meant freedom but a feeling of being
The train moved on as she sat there,
not completely frozen by the sound
as her hand on the windowpane kept time
with the steady
of that one loose tie.