Approaching Salisbury Mills the Train Blows Its Whistle – a poem by Ariana D. Den Bleyker

Approaching Salisbury Mills the Train Blows Its Whistle;
People Mind the Stop-Gap Before Rushing to a Seat

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
“Closing Time”—Semisonic

I shiver the breeze of opening doors,
against the onward steps

scurrying for seats facing forward or backward
through swaying cars & narrow aisles.

This is where I board.

On this spring-like morning, I sit backward,
the air cool & a crack of sunrise burning
through frosted windows, brightening

sleepy heads & towns
seeking a city that never sleeps.

The train moves until it’s suspended
atop the Moodna Viaduct, forming a line inscribed in the sky
exposed to the same forces
of gravity & velocity marking the tides.

I succumb to the light, squeeze my eyes shut,
focus on the rails with quiet anticipation—

moments of the deceleration,
movements taking me to the next stop—

(fearing no speed, no derailments
or the beautiful pieces of me tossed from the car.)

Gaining momentum, I listen to learn
of what’s ahead,

a soft, gentle pounding inside hovering above
what must be heard,
clanging, arrivals, departures, measured miles (knowing)—

there’s a vividness dancing this sunrise,
the emerging destination.

Here is where I visit.
Here is where I wish to stay—

sometimes arriving sitting backward
though always moving forward.


Ariana D. Den Bleyker is a Pittsburgh native currently residing in New York’s Hudson Valley where she is a wife and mother of two. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and every once in a while sleeps. She is the author of three collections, seventeen chapbooks, three crime novellas, a novelette, and an experimental memoir.

1 Comment

  1. dorybear says:

    Well-composed, evocative poem.


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