Dry Run

— Jerry Dyer

Sober days link one by one,
a lengthening train
that forms behind me,
like box-cars—coal,
cattle, or rattlingly empty.

Come night, the couplings groan,
hinges stretch tight,
fretted by the weight
of old blind pigs, or because
I feel the pull alone.

At every crossing,
clinking glass can be heard,
lights flash through swinging doors,
and voices thresh the air,
weightless with words.

“What are ya gonna do,”
I ask myself, “it’s a small town,
especially on a Friday night.”
The bars breathe in and out
with laughter.

The night air is everywhere wry,
ripe with juniper, fennel,
moist with the memory of sin—
but I force my legs eastward,
moving through trunk lines of starlight,
waiting for dawn’s pewter train
to pull round the bend in the sky.

One thought on “Dry Run

  1. Great job! The use of metaphor is masterly–just amazing– especially the train metaphor, the weight of it, the motion of it, and that awesome ending with the train that takes you away to start again. I’d be remiss if I didn’t compliment the "old blind pigs" metaphor. Now I know how to describe how I feel when I have to wake up each morning.

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