Waiting Room

Midnight approaches with its headlamp beam
fanned before it, at full speed,
with no intention
of pausing for breath
or of stopping

to pick up passengers
bathing in the warmth of the glass
enclosing them. They watch

as the minutes rush by, as the carriages
roll past them
with somewhere important to go.
The sky is salted with frozen stars

and the tracks lie bolted
to the Earth, awaiting
the slow train with a recycled locomotive
that moves as sure as faith
toward them, stumbling on its wheels,

pulling by a chain
a single wagon, unheated
but alight with hope.

David Chorlton is a European who became a longtime resident of Phoenix and has developed an interest in the wildlife of the West. He has a recent book with watercolors and poems featuring the local birds, The Flying Desert. Read other articles by David.