Tom Sleigh

(Texas / United States)

A Visit

What she is waiting for never arrives
or arrives so slowly she can't see it:
Like the river
bluing silver

and wearing minutely deeper into its channel,
the flow hardens to carved stone as she fidgets
beneath the whirling fan
impatient for the train

that rocks us above the water to arrive:
Her sisters and brothers gone, she ventures alone
through sunlight
and moonlight

weaving shadowy faces across the peeling walls...
—Speeding toward her, is it you and me she spies
in the trembling train
windows while the engine

hauls us down rails that swerve under wheels
rolling through her brain? Faces burn
through dirty glass,
smears of lips and eyes

dissolve to spots of darkness swarming between
her eyes so that swaying apartment towers
crumble as her nostrils
prickle from the landfill's

ammonia that hangs above the stacked, crushed cars.
The rails that take us to her pass boxcar after boxcar
like the successive selves we are
as she dreams us coming closer,

switching track to track: Now the super unbolts
her door as she calls: "Oh is it really you?"
—the wheel's rolling
through her head bringing

us face to face with raveled bandages, crutches
leaned in dusty corners, terraced mountains of
yellowing newspaper.
Framed above her chair

a picture of a prairie sprawls round a covered wagon
and the horse she rode as a girl, her eyes
fading points of light...
Again she calls out

above the train's approaching rumble: "Is it you at last?"
My eyes have got so bad peoples' faces
are all blurry...Now
tell me, is it really you?"

But already the rails are switching, bearing
our waving hands away at the speed of thought
over the stony waters that
ceaselessly pour out.

Submitted: Monday, July 14, 2014
Edited: Monday, July 14, 2014


Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Visit by Tom Sleigh )

Enter the verification code :

  • Freshman - 1,311 Points Leah Ayliffe (7/14/2014 9:03:00 AM)

    Intriguing narrative. I really enjoyed this reading journey, a lot to dig into, answers scratching under the surface. Thanks! (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. If, Rudyard Kipling
  5. The Flower of Liberty, Oliver Wendell Holmes
  6. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  7. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  8. First Day at School, Roger McGough
  9. Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda

Poem of the Day

poet Oliver Wendell Holmes

WHAT flower is this that greets the morn,
Its hues from Heaven so freshly born?
With burning star and flaming band
It kindles all the sunset land:
...... Read complete »


Member Poem

New Poems

  1. innocence, abdirahman haaji rilwaan
  2. MOST LIVING PEOPLE, Michael P. Johnson
  3. Beautiful rose, Andytics mufc
  4. How Not to Play War, Ima Ryma
  5. We are here to sing, gajanan mishra
  6. The Girls And Their Peep Hole, Is It Poetry
  7. Goodbye dream, Marilyn Jean
  8. '' You're No Better Than Us '', bri mar
  9. Becoming Part Of Intellect, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  10. Nineteen Years Since Your Passing, Jonathan Goldman a.k.a JGthe ..
[Hata Bildir]