Thursday, January 04, 2007

Turnips



Somewhere in Texas he awoke
Sore, startled, scared
Seeing a sight he would long remember
Out the boxcar door
Men running with turnips in hand
From a farmer's field by the tracks
Eyes glazed with hunger
Like they were on hop
Sprinting desperately back toward the train
The big machine gaining speed
Struggling, like the men up the grade
In the late Summer afternoon
They, risking life and limb
to stop the ache in their empty bellies
They held their noses
Choked down the things
Quieting the demons temporarily
Ahead in Needles, he jumped off
Dusty but not disheveled
and spent his last quarter on a shoeshine

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