This Train

Thomas Reiter Click to

Thomas Reiter has published five full-length books of poetry, the most recent being Catchment, LSU Press, 2009. He has been awarded the Daily News Poetry Prize from The Caribbean Writer and the Boatwright Poetry Prize from Shenandoah. He is Emeritus Professor of Humanities at Monmouth University, where he held the Wayne D. McMurray Endowed Chair in the Humanities.

This train is bound for glory, this train . . .
comes in the voices of fellowship
from the Holiness Refuge Tabernacle
on the Hill. Rooted in a road-side gully,
a salt-loving wild morning glory
has set out bearing crimson flowers.
Leaves tremble in the trade wind, all notched
like a hoof, or heart, the vine bound for
the Great Salt Pond atop a dormant
underground volcano. Runaway slaves
were drowned there in chains, the pond
a ledger in which the master entered
profits and losses. Seeds float from the vine
to live forever, returning faithfully
to gullies and waste ground
in spindrift blown from the pond.
It’s the glory this train is bound for.