Amtrak going South
by Mary Wehner

Out of flooded Minnesota we're riding
track-waves along the Mississippi —
birds skimming the mud-water, level
with a squirrel's nest, flecks of snow growing
through meshed bare trees.

In a swivel chair in the domed car, I switch
between Robinson Crusoe and a crossword.
I break down for a $6 hotdog breakfast, resisting
the urge to add a beer to the tab. It's barely ten.

We slow to a crawl. There's an eagle, three crows,
an impaled red kayak high up in the black trees.

This train will be hours late, yet what travel
could better present this view: docks floating in
a thick sleety snow, a cowboy in full dress working
a bird sketch with a feminine hand, and behind me in the glass
reflection a smooching couple floating up from the bar car.

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