Iron Horse, 1840
These grassy margins under sky of blue,
so peaceful. Then a rumble, sudden blast –
can you stand your ground as the train roars through?
Here’s Progress. Boston, all across this New
England, folks with tickets for transit massed.
These grassy margins under sky of blue
once buffered cities. Landscape’s subtle hue,
a pleasant walk – gone, outmoded, outclassed.
Who could stand his ground as the train roars through
for Commerce? Stockcars in which ram and ewe
are hurtled toward their slaughter house, too fast
for grassy margin under sky as blue
as berries ripe in August – something true
that you could taste, and savor to the last.
Can you stand your ground as the train roars through
hauling its cargo? Where the wild-rose blew,
now coal-smoke smudges what was, but is past.
Those grassy margins where the sky was blue
couldn’t stand their ground when the train roared through.