Train whistle draws its inspiration
from the trill of endless insects
Summer night accordion, tin pipe,
flute enough to float the blood
from heart to head and back again.
The heat is the most and the crickets are least,
and through it all, the locomotive,
stretched taut silver, strains against steel rail
and contour and knock-kneed sound,
to crush another mile beneath its wheels.
From darkening berth, the night’s forensic,
a shrillness here, a click-clack there,
evidence gathered to implicate field and sleeper
in the distance gained.
Farmers wave. Children pedal.
Russet hills just are
in the way that small towns try to be.