A visual prompt while journeying from D.C. to NYC via Amtrak.
In Towns Gone By
Blasting past town, the silver bullet rail
rains dry dust on small weeded lots
filled with tousled grey boarded homes.
Sitting in crumbling rocking chairs
fumble hooked crochet sticks in and out
of their last row of muddy brown yarn
Slightly resembling a sweater.
Intermingled amongst the women
are a few broken down, doddering
old men snoozing-
dreaming of days gone by
Impatiently the women's hands move up,
hook here, loop through and pull,
wondering when their
young folk will be arriving home.
The air is stagnant as if life
has exhaled it's last breath.
Like a breeze,
the sound of whistling proceeds
weary men shuffling through the streets
joyfully anticipating a meek
dinner prepared by their wives.
Cries of hello and see ya later
fill the air as the young men step onto
chipped stoops. Like a carefully choreographed dance
dirty children burst out of different doors
And run into stiff arms smothering wet
kisses onto the necks of their fathers.
Wiggling free, the men sit
leaning back into moldy chairs
and talk to the old folks.
Others enter their homes
all are waiting
Wives hugged and dinner
devoured families spill back
on the porch.
The witching hour has approached
that time when brains vacation,
bodies melt comfortably in the cooling shade
and all is right with the world.
Too bad the devil's work
will start all over in the morning.