Trains of my Youth

As a young man
I would fall asleep
to the sounds of crickets
whippoorwills, and lonely wolves
but the sound which strikes
my memory most
the trains clawing and scratching
their way up the mountain rails
heading for all points west
Chicago, Chattanooga, to Denver.
I dreamed so often of those faraway names
but dreams are ashes when you’re poor
poor like hobos sleeping
in woods parallel parking near the tracks
poor like tattered cottages
rambling up the mountainside.
Poor is death before its time
and time is never late.
So I dream of travel
I dream a dream so sweet
with a country girl yet to meet
and a straw between her lips
and eyes like autumn
autumns come and go
too soon for me