Coal Country

4 A.M. Freight cars shudder
together in the dark.  A few stars scattered
between clouds in the dark sky.

Wind falls. Stop lights flash on
green, red, sway slowly in the cold.
Pickups idle. Tailpipes drip.

Sleepers sink ever deeper now,
dreams fading like drifters passed by
in the fog along the road.

Miles up the line, engines rev up
for the long haul.  A black vein opens up
across swollen snow.

Ron Stottlemyer lives in Helena, MT. Along with writing, he has a passion for amateur astronomy, Mid-Eastern cooking, and for living with the moment. He believes that real poetry has its sole origin in corner-of-the-eye surprise, lives only in metaphor, and has graceful syntax, the stone of its memory. After starting to send poems this past spring, he has recently published in The Alabama Literary Review, The Sow's Ear, Streetlight, and The American Journal of Poetry.