The Butler Pennsylvania Poems

Room with Window Facing West

If only I could lie in that bed again
late on winter nights and listen
wouldn't I hear the steam engines
running along the creek
out beyond the hill
or the shifting of freight cars
in the yards under the bridge,
and be carried back by those sounds
to summer nights
when I would lie in bed, listening,
in sheets tangled
asking my sleepless self
what "Chicago" meant,
that haunting word heard
in whispers spoken
from tongues of boys
I thought were friends
who would toss their heads back
to slur at me in mocking tones:
Some day, when you grow up,
some day you will learn.

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