Margaret Pendoley


The salt marsh is beautiful in the morning.
The early shift, that’s Tim’s favorite.
He rides the train in, empty and dark,
sun rises out of cowlicks,
surfs across grass.

Past the rookery,
where groggy egrets roost,
trees, a crumbling tunnel, and then
back doors of houses.

The train barrels, conductor catches
lives through glass and screens.
There’s guilty pleasure
in this part of the line.

He savors them: woman walking
with her baby, disappearing in and out
of her upstairs window, couple
rudely interrupted, fumbling for the blind,
and toddler,

for whom trains are still wonders,
rushing for the door.