Railroad Crossing

Just turned twenty,
riding the freights through Oregon . . .
Came this way once, on these same tracks, lounging
in the doorway of an empty boxcar
rolling a cigarette,
waving nonchalantly at people in cars.

Twenty years later,
at the grade crossing on State Street, in Salem,
I squint impatiently into the afternoon sun,
engine idling,
waiting for a train to pass.

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