Train on Saint Louis Bay
by Larry Johnson

    Give the two of us your slow moan whistle,
    long empty freight train from out of the south.
    Give us your low light, Mississippi train,
    pound on through this gray afternoon hanging
    over the mottled crashing heavy waves
    beneath the trestle. Rattle me like a darling
    baby boy (something has to) this April
    afternoon while we sit with our fried food.
    We're at Amanda's in Bay St. Louis.
    The waitress watches me watch the train.
    I think that she has the same longing to go
    that I do. But I am wrong. She tells us
    about a man at this table over here
    who cursed her and her sweet bread pudding
    one Independence Day because he sat
    for two hours, and never saw a train.
    That's what we do to one another, she
    says. Besides, you get so used to it. Me
    I say, when I was young I loved that sound,
    because I thought someone was coming home.

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