Lullaby near the Railroad Tracks

by A. E. Stallings

Go back to sleep. The hour is small.
        A freight train between stations
Shook you out of sleep with all
        Its lonely ululations.

Through the stillness, while you slumber,
        They trundle down the track,
Lugging cattle, coal, and lumber,
        Crying, “alack, alack.”

It’s cheap to pay the engineer:
        The moon’s a shiny dime.
Shut your eyes and you will hear
        The Doppler shift of time.

The hour is small. Resume your rest.
        Tomorrow will be kinder.
Here comes a freight train nosing west,
        Pulling the dawn behind her.

“Lullaby near the Railroad Tracks” previously appeared in Light.

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