Written in Arlington

During the month of April 2020, Arlington Poet Laureate Emerita Katherine E. Young is posting poems from the forthcoming anthology Written in Arlington, which showcases the poets and poems of Arlington, Virginia.


Afternoon Train 
by Sally Zakariya 

We heard the train each  
afternoon, first the whistle—   
shrieks of an angry child—  
then the hiss of wheels  
on rails, the howls 
of neighbor dogs.

The track was half a block 
away, close enough to see  
the dusty freight cars from  
our window carrying folks 
to the city from somewhere  
near the mountains.

The track was one short twig 
on a branching railroad 
that once carried Civil War 
troops and later took vacationers 
to Virginia spas. 

The rails have given way 
to a bike trail now, and a park 
nestles close where the trains 
once rolled. A red caboose sits 
stationary on the spot. 

Sally Zakariya’s poetry has appeared in some seventy-five print and online journals and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her most recent publication is Muslim Wife. She is also the author of The Unknowable Mystery of Other People, Personal Astronomy, When You Escape, Insectomania, and Arithmetic and other verses, as well as the editor of a poetry anthology, Joys of the Table. Zakariya blogs at www.butdoesitrhyme.com.  

Written in Arlington / Spoken in Arlington is a print and digital collection of the poets and poems of Arlington, VA, edited by Katherine E. Young and published by Paycock Press (forthcoming, fall 2020). It is supported in part by Arlington County through the Arlington Cultural Affairs division of Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Commission for the Arts. For more information, visit Arlington Arts.

Image: After the Rain mixed media/collage on canvas by Anya Getter (fragment)

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