Get Outta Town

Photo: Rod Ramsey Death Valley, CA Licensed for non-commercial reuse.

Photo: Rod Ramsey
Death Valley, CA
Licensed for non-commercial reuse.

Get Outta Town
a Haibun

Lola knew she had to get out, and get out fast. The plaintive sound of the train not that far from home (if she could call it that) flamed her sense of urgency. The women’s’ shelter north of town was not an option. They would find her there. It was an obvious place to hide.

Outside, cheat grass swayed in the desert’s evening wind, bending, like her, to the will of a force stronger than itself, a power unable to be controlled. Above, a hawk circled restlessly, looking for something smaller than itself to devour, to devour like the malignant evil that bedeviled her day and night.

She stuffed the money she’d been skimming from her tricks, piled her hair atop her head and covered it with a baseball cap. She’d make it just in time for the 8:05 to Elko where prostitution was legal. She’d just make it before he didn’t show up for his day job, before they would discover his body.

relentless wind blows
tumbleweeds scurry by the tracks
guilt scatters like sand

Join us today at dVerse Poetics where Bjorn invites us to hop aboard and write of trains. This is fictional.

Stay for Awhile




A train, at a standstill across
the river, gasps for breath, hisses
its need to move along toward
destiny. Slow start, a wheeze.
It inches forward, heading East.

But I, I don’t want to go.


I live across the river from the train track that threads through the Sierra Nevada from California to points East. I love its plaintive sound (except when some middle-of-the-night engineer really lays on the whistle). It seems to call us to distant places.

This week, at dVerse Poetics, we’re writing about trains. Why don’t you hop on board?!

Sunday 160–“Railroad Crossing”

A block away
the Truckee flows.
On the far side
of the river,
a train calls.
Warning us
Take care!
Or, perhaps inviting us.
the myopic
you have created.

Submitted to Monkey Man’s Sunday 160