local_library Stand By Me

by Roy Beckemeyer

Published in Issue No. 225 ~ February, 2016

Walking rails, arms
extended, three or four
of us in tandem, leaning
as much in response to
the kid ahead as to our
own swaying need
for equilibrium. We
rock with each gust
like hovering hawks,
count ties as our
measure of progress.

The heat of the rail
works its way through
the soles of sneakers,
the steel extends off
into the haze of horizon,
approaching but never
touching its parallel
companion, points the
way to the future, the
one that, at our age,
has no end, that seems
laid out and straight-

forward as these

lengths of steel
spiked to slabs
of tarred wood.