Poetry - Issue 22 | April 2015

Four poems by Christine Potter

Alone On The Train

The best of it is a book in
your own room and daylight
to read it by: white, clear,
West-of-Chicago light, pages

luminous as clouds with
the sun behind them, a thin
sheet of them leveling out
the early afternoon. No one

memorable in the dining car
at lunch, No Service in the upper
left corner of your cell phone,
almost no shadows anywhere.

It’s like taking a shower in sky
and the absence of speech. Words
come easily to the eye, easily to
the page you are now writing,

having closed the book and begun
to click the keys. You’ll end up
home, and the sun will set earlier
than when you left. You will plan

meals, load the washer. But
now the train is the cloister you
dreamed of at nine and you are
a heroic nun, graceful and

unquestioned, your holiness
easily apparent, the train
strung together like rosary beads
slipping through your steady hands.

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About the author

Christine Potter has gone back and forth across the US without an airplane more times than she can say. She’s flown, too, but lately she prefers a sleeping car on the train. She’s also partial to three-hour vacations on New York’s City Island (Cape Cod without the Providence, RI traffic), and really needs to get back to Scotland. Read her two books of poetry: Sheltering in Place (2013)  and Zero Degrees at First Light (2006), both available at Christine’s blog.

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