life in the miniature steam-train village

By | 24 July 2007

some of us do stay here      i have a room under

the miniature tunnel the door is a drain-cover

a secret i open only when the tourists have gone

some of the overalled men have wives & they are civil

in fact they smile more than us 'residents'

they often drink from thermoses

they tinker with the engines they collect tickets

       but then they go home

some wives are dead & so we move in here

there are various parts of the community vacant

one hair-pin down near the petunia bed & estuary in particular

that corner has a bad feel to it: the site of a derailing

       back in the 70s it's our equivalent of cheap-real-estate

train-enthusiasts are superstitious       with good reason

on purple nights when we all gather to drink beer & spin

monologues around the tiny turnpike       then perfectly-scaled spirits walk

the village comes alive with their spectral whispers

some seem to catch in my beard       a mixture of human cries

(the justly dead span generations:       the boy gurgling in the water not

yet talking –        the heart-attack veterans out for one last reminisce)       but

also the fairies we created ourselves giggle

the dwarves cease their mining & gather to connive

there is a swarthy & strange life in this place it

is pungent at times       i run the trains by day

       by night      under the tunnel      i write

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