Missing Tracks

Yesterday, we drove up into the high country near Ridgway, Colorado. My husband is a railfan, which means we take pictures of trains.

Years ago, when we lived in the city, we spent our summers in Ouray. We drove down to watch the weekly train come into Ridgway to pick up its load of concentrated lead and zinc ore trucked down from mines higher in the San Juans.

The track is long gone and part of its right-of-way is under the waters of the Ridgway Reservoir, but, with the aid of our photographs, we were able to figure out where the yards had been.

Here are your ideas for today:

  • write about a train
  • write about a place you visited that is completely different now
  • write about a reservoir of some kind
  • write about a friend’s hobby or obsession

Here’s my top-of-the-head effort for the day:

Missing Tracks

Nobody here misses them.

The conductor and his historic

caboose made of real

California redwood

have moved on just

as surely as the uncertain

rail over which

the heavy diesel

locos rocked,

pulling their leaden

loads of rock,

clicking over

jointed rail

joining tunnels

first dug out

with shovels

on Red Mountain

pass in the days

when these towns

rocked with

raucous dreams

of easy riches

and fast pleasures.

Now, we stand

in the parking lot

of the library

on history

that nobody here

remembers,

listening for the

bark of a horn

echoing across

a valley

which now

is gold.

copyright Linda J. Armstrong, October 27, 2012: all rights reserved

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