Mile of Blood on the Elmira Tracks

On balmy October morning, 2013,
Dillon G. (16) trespassed RR Tracks,
listened to hip hop music on head set.
Earth rumbled, scream of locomotive horn;
The voice of Bruno Mars, “you walk around
here like you wanna be someone else.” ((From Bruno Mars 2013 hit song, “Treasure”))

Nothing influenced Dillon to get out of way,
cry, cry, the community bygone cries –
I know he had no ambitious intention
to find blood borne pathogen (Haz Mat)
cleanup work for me to do that day,
but turned out he did.

On-the-job, moored stars in Elmira sky –
Dressed in yellow Tyvek suits
and wearing cartridge respirators,
Mike Reuther and I crawled on knees,
searched RR tracks for signs of blood,
and placed Dillon’s masticated remains,
including spleen, piece of jaw with 5-white teeth,
(along with bloody ballast stone and sorbent pads),
into five 55-gallon (US D.O.T. approved) drums.

Dear Bruno Mars,
O how I wanted to be someone else…,
flee the Golden Spike line!

Later en route (north) to Syracuse, NY,
with a load of “Infectious Waste,”
we stopped at Flying J truck stop for bite-to-eat
and where I purchased a scratch-off lottery ticket,
with hopes I’d never have to hurt again.
Scratch, scratch… look see!
It’s just another “loser” for me,
and Dillon, may I ask,
did you ever hear my scattered ash scream?

Charles Orloski lives in Taylor, Pa. He can be reached at: . Read other articles by Charles.