Oblivion and Chicago by Gregory Rosewell

Somewhere between
And Chicago
A sterling young man
Rides an old beat up jalopy train
That has jumped the rail
And is now running solely on
And a naïve sense of
Frontier adventure

He sips warm whiskey
Out of a tin measuring cup
Draws silly pictures of clouds
On his worn cocktail napkins
And hums melodic folk songs
That he wrote as a child in
Windswept New England

The young man is accompanied by a
Dashing and sophisticated young woman
Dressed in the finest merino wool
Who refuses to eat or sleep
Until someone tells her
Where all these beautiful clouds
Streaming past the window
Are coming from –

Surely, she insists,
There is someone
Or something
Behind them

Across the isle three young children
Climb about their wondrous sleeping mother
And pull at her ears and nose
Making music with her tired moans and
Benevolent objections

She softly and patiently
Persuades them to sleep
And their soft murmurings
Soon harmonize with the droning hum
Of the train’s steel wheels

The young man raises his head
As the sun begins to set outside –
The vibrant greens and blues
Now becoming golden embers
That burn in amber hues
Among the vast expanse
Of mountain and meadow
Rolling past them
In an intoxicated flash
That rises
And falls
In brilliant
Staccato rhythm

With pen in hand he coolly smiles
Marveling at his good luck
As a mountain wind comes
Barreling down on them
From somewhere between
And a relentless
Pursuit of

Gregory Rosewell
Gregory Rosewell grew up in coastal New England and went to college among the Green Mountains of Vermont. After shuffling around the country for years with his wife and dog – working, traveling, and writing – he settled in the San Francisco Bay Area where he teaches high school and escapes to the mountains as often as he can. You can follow his adventures on Instagram @invincible_winter


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