When Poe Hopped The A Train

Once upon a midnight dreary, I hopped the A Train and
Oh, ’twas weary, the wretched, the drug addicted, the
Forsaken, the forlorn – a more miserable lot in all the world
Never before did I behold – and this from the wealthiest

Land on Earth, truly befuddled was I! Once upon a midnight
Dreary, I hopped the A and espied youths dancing for a
Pittance on the train, so impoverished and bedraggled were
They. And the train rumbled through the depths of Mannahatta,

Through the underworld of vast Harlem, through the bowels
Of a world that was, through the lowest depths of despair;
And many a poor soul could not even keep their head up,
As exhaustion permeated the shadows. Hopelessness was

Nigh, the wraiths did hover amidst disconsolate sighs, the ride
Grew interminable, and woe was etched on every brow; and
The train rumbled on where no grasses grow, nor sacred
Bower nor daffodil dreams; the train rumbled on through
The oppressive doom, the train rumbled on through perdition;

And the train rumbled on amidst the sadness of the rain, the
Train rumbled on with no sanctity, the train rumbled on locked
Unto the vice of an unshakable dominion. Once upon a midnight
Dreary, I hopped the A Train, and I took it straight through Hell.

David Penner has taught English and ESL within the City University of New York and at Fordham. His articles on politics and health care have appeared in CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Dr. Linda and KevinMD; while his poetry has been published with Dissident Voice. Also a photographer, he is the author of three books: Faces of Manhattan Island, Faces of The New Economy, and Manhattan Pairs. He can be reached at: 321davidadam@gmail. Read other articles by David.