Register Tuesday | December 7 | 2021

Spur Line

A poem

At the business end of a CNR spur line,
or what used to be—all boxy abandoned
warehouses and grown over tracks—this town
is a start and stop both, but no passing through.

It’s the difference between a valley
and shallow grave—one scenic the other a scene.
Some come here on purpose and some get sped
away by accident—escape often

as much a matter of chance as a day seized.
Even at the bus station—where the routes out
of town are free of parallax—there’s a certain
anxiety. The teens gathered outside look

just like those hanging around the liquor store,
waiting for someone who might help them out.