Honorable Mention in the 2015 James Vaughan Poetry Contest

by Brian Cronwall

Under shooting stars, the quick commas of night,
a train rolls on. The next depot is in sight.
When will we get there? It’s cold in North Platte;
if you get off at the station at midnight,
you’ll freeze your nose hairs for sure. And if you step out
in Gila Bend, you’ll break into an instant sweat.
The same stars watch over both. We’re not
in either place yet, but we soon could be.

I am leaving the quake behind. I have begun
to walk a new path. I carry one sweater,
an umbrella, and enough dried meat for the journey.
I greet trees and rocks as if they were family,
each set of eyes with lightning and tears.
I cannot continue to walk the same old way
when the light is so bright up ahead.


Brian Cronwall teaches English at Kaua`i Community College. His poems have been widely published in the United States, Australia, Japan, France, and the United Kingdom.

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