the museum of americana

a literary review

The Last Sleeper Car from Portland Heading Into the Columbia River Gorge — Poetry by Tricia Knoll

 
I sway, framed in the rear door, rails gleaming gold
as the sun sets at the mouth of the Columbia River.
These tracks press up to rocks on the north.
Mt. Hood bows out south, elder in glory glow.

A clack-rolling dusk forward, the whistle
salutes small places where we do not stop.
I see back to the sea I bring to every bed,
every night, gold rails merging at a fogged horizon,

full-out train in front, pulling into later.
My fists bunch my pillow into a cloud.
Shut lids invite a rocking train to yawn a gate
to dreams. I ask gorge winds and unstoppable river

to sluice me, recombine mists.
Mix words, fleeting tastes of lemon,
smells of peppers and lilac,
my dance of cranes and weaver birds,

today’s regrets and past-due debts.
Make it gentle, a rhymic roll
of solid freight to move me this night
through switch gates I have no hand on.
 
~ ~ ~

tricia-knollTricia Knoll is an Oregon eco-poet who believes the Columbia River Gorge is one of the wonders of world. Retired after many years of communications work for the City of Portland, her poetry appears widely in journals and anthologies. Her poetry collections include Ocean’s Laughter (Aldrich Press, 2016) and a chapbook Urban Wild (Finishing Line Press, 2014). Her website is triciaknoll.com

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