By The Milepost (prose)

By the milepost
She lunged from side to side
As her whistle pierced the night
Sander’s blowing
She pulled Crescent Hill
Her sparks a flyin’
Saturday Night
Out on the branchline.

Someone told me long ago
Stories about vagabond Railroadin’ souls
Men who spend their days shut in hotel rooms
At the end of the road
Just off the branchline

Someone told me long ago
Stories of Vagabond Railroadin’ souls
Hearty men who ride high upon a ribbon of steel
Rumbling thru at all hours of the night
Shining their lanterns down on you.

But no mention was ever made
Of the price these men have paid
In family,
In time,
As they made their mark
Saturday Night
Out on the branchline.

***