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The Engineer
netskyIam

=S.W. 72 Avenue, Miami, 1959=
 1
 
 
Railroad iron along the street opposed
 2
a row of flat roofed concrete boxes.
 3
 
 
That is where I lived at five
 4
with nothing interspersed between
 5
except sharp gravel bedded in
 6
an asphalt roadway hard enough
 7
on small boys' bare feet.
 8
 
 
The engineer who pressed the diesel-
 9
powered loco with its rock-and-crush
 10
oolitic limestone freight,
 11
thundered slower for his hailing
 12
candies on us five-to-niners, making tracks
 13
from up, from down, from all of those
 14
almost same-hum houses on that
 15
mis-termed avenue.
 16
 
 
Though he and his assistant waved,
 17
no child ever saw him word; I suppose
 18
the diesel roar precluded speech,
 19
excepting high-pitched shouts
 20
and our running signaled joys.
 21
 
 
Some of us laid on the tracks,
 22
in offer to our god of power,
 23
penny candy sacrifices,
 24
coin surrendered for flat fate
 25
with pancakings of Jeffersons
 26
on the richest of our days.
 27
 
 
Remarkable, that engineer,
 28
who may have known he'd be recalled
 29
in future hearings--candy-shouts,
 30
past the wrappers in the weeds
 31
that in the roadway sprouted seeds:
 32
mostly boys and butterscotches.
 33

3 Jan 06


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(181 more poems by this author)



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Comments:

Has a great nostalgia feel.  I got to do this once when I was younger.  Can you believe people now pay money to have their pennies flattened by a machine?  I've seen it!
 — daedalus

daedalus, you have good wings.  thanks for the looking in.
Poem is now revised cleaner and better.  

Does this recounting work for other readers?  Any problems seen?
thanks, reid
 — netskyIam

This is terrific. Just terrific, Reid. I clicked on this because I love trains, and was hoping for a half decent piece of writing, but this truly is excellent. First piece that I would call poetry that I've read on this site for a while; well done. The tone is superb, reminiscent without straying into sentimentality, and just great.

I didn't know that you could write like this; I thought that most of your writing tended more towards the humorous and jesting. Very well done.
 — wendz

aw, gee, tank u, wendz.  you surely have been missed from this place.  stay
I'll send candies.    The poem is now revised a bit, and better.  The new title is its street address, but for PC, I'll retain the old title of childhood glee.   It was a time.  It was a time, also, to hone this sentiment into non-gushy form.   Thanks for your vote for confidence.   Reid
 — netskyIam

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