Poetry: The Hobo Ride, by Gloria Keeley

The Hobo Ride

by Gloria Keeley

the night railroad holds sleepers
each with their own dreams
the train in the rain whistles
lonely on skinny rails
rolling the canyons
boxcars hold card games
the flickering lanterns lend
credence to kings and queens
corn stalks the land
nests dry in the moonlight
grass grows around baby birds
beaks red from cherries
fed by their mothers
the early morning breeze
ripples the fish-full pond
the hobo rides the freight
after tramping the yards
the main line tunnel
where souls are hidden
spoon the smokestack veins
indians set ears to ground
sense the ancient rumble
riding down the double E’s

Gloria Keeley is a former student of CCSF. She attended City in the late 60s and taught for CCSF for 34 years. Her writing was included in the 1968 issue of Forum and she was editor of the 1969 issue. Her poem “Billie” won the 2016 Forum Online writing contest.


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