PoetryIssue 22 | April 2015

Four poems by Christine Potter

The Train In Mountains At Night

By the time we got there, it was dark; darkness
had risen out of the shadows and swallowed
even the mountains. Then the mountains rose

in front of the train until it curled around them
like the tail around a sleeping cat. I don’t know
what woke me up. Maybe I felt the altitude.

I wanted to see snow, but there was nothing
but the rocking of my bed and bottomless night.
I thought of developing film when I was twelve,

how much will it took to kill the ceiling light
in my father’s darkroom. Even The Beatles
on WMCA couldn’t convince me the world was

still there as I coiled my pictures into a jug
of vinegary chemicals, closing and opening
my eyes just to prove there was no difference.

Outside the train, trees and little towns must
have slipped by in the chimney-smoke cold,
undeveloped, swimming through their dreams,

the pines’ furry branches nodding to the roofs
of houses, a yellow kitchen light left on over
someone’s sink, too far from the tracks to see.

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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.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok