No one touches
at the abandoned train
station. The long needles

of people gauge distance
as if to bring what is far,
near. Do the windows ache

to be whole, their shards
breaking out in defiance?
No answer but hands,

held curt at the side, the welcome
distraction of parasol.
How wise the grass that grows

through the tracks, pushes
boundaries, says no train stops
for what is left. Even the shadows

long for shape: lightning bolt, sting
ray, antennae. The cornered woman
is a mast to silence.

The sun is absent, the clouds.
This man carries a satchel,
this one a cane—

as if our objects can stop us.

In response to artwork by:
Philip C. Curtis
Wait by the Station, 1961

oil on panel
27 1/8 × 43 1/4 × 1 in. (68.9 × 109.9 × 2.5 cm)
Collection of Phoenix Art Museum, Gift of Edward Jacobson Revocable Trust


Julie E. Bloemeke is currently working on her first book of poetry. A 2012 and 2014 fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, her manuscript was recently selected as a semifinalist in the 2014 Crab Orchard Poetry Series First Book Award. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in various publications including Chautauqua Literary Journal, Drunken Boat, Poet Lore, Deep South Magazine, and The Southern Poetry Anthology: Georgia.

Logo Orange hq transparent

order here