Sunday Nov 29

Fleegal-Poetry Stacia M. Fleegal is the author of two full-length and three chapbook poetry collections, most recently antidote (Winged City Press, 2013). She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2009, 2010, and 2013. Her poems have recently appeared in Best of the Net 2011, Fourth River, The North American Review, Lunch Ticket, UCity Review, Crab Creek Review, Barn Owl Review, and Knockout, and her essays have appeared in Luna Luna Magazine, Delirious Hem, and Revolution John, where she writes a monthly column. Stacia holds the MFA in Writing from Spalding University and is co-founder and co-editor of Blood Lotus. She is also an online writing instructor and blog/social media editor for the Elizabeth Ayres Center for Creative Writing and works in the Baker Institute for Peace & Conflict Studies at Juniata College in central Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter @shapeshifter43 and visit her blog here.

Train of Thought 

I finally give in to memory while waiting for a train
to pass at the entrance to my hometown.
This bridge, these tracks—here, we cross them every day.
As a child, they became my stanzas.
I never didn’t wonder where they led.
I’ve never really found out, either.
I make myself think about the freckled girl
who died here trying to outrun one,
her twin brother watching as her body exploded,
his permanent shell-shock, shell of a boy,
how the town should’ve built a new way in
for the family, a bridge over all of her blood.
Then I think of blood. Then I think of the quarter
I wanted to flatten here once, ten years old,
my mother’s bloodless go ahead, her rarity laugh.
Where I’m from, the cautionary tales abound
for little girls walking home from school:
The Mountain Man will get you. The merciless trains.
Your mother is waiting, run along now.
The toll for leaving this place is a flattened quarter.
Wherever there are trains, there is my memory,
damsel tied to the tracks.