Ghost Train of Youngstown

by Joseph Robertshaw

Not long ago our earth was rich and black
Then the trains came on earth hewn, fire wrought track.
We burned hope in our fires and sold molten earth
For greenbacks and ale draughts; far more it was worth.

They dug in their spurs and rode us into the mills,
With hot blood and cold sweat the tall orders we filled.
Rail-cars stacked high with sheet & tube dreams
Rolled heavy away in dark waves of steam.

The spurs are now silent but tempered we still
Mourn empty orders that no one can fill.
The trains used to stop at each mill’s back lot
Now they roll on, already full, and no need to stop.

Our children now ask for guidance and vision
We’ve nothing left here to reach in and give them.
With our pain they were raised and handily fed
Now we’re old dried up husks and more use to them dead.

We made them a life of steel, wheels and coal,
Now away like our dreams on those rails they will roll,
To seek better fortunes and dream their own dreams,
Never seeing nor caring that they ride on our beams.

Spark by Michael Marshall Smith

Spark by Michael Marshall Smith

My name is Joseph Robertshaw. I like poetry and prose and try to write both. I was asked to leave my high school English class and my high school but all these years later, I have just written a fantasy book. I have dropped out of high school and have earned two master’s degrees. I have taught cooking, safety, customer service and now, for the past five years, First Year Composition. I am a husband and a father and, in my life, I have killed turkeys, cooked chickens, thrown crabs, siphoned salmon. I have been a stay at home navy spouse. I have sailed the Bering Sea and rolled through Europe on the rails. I currently live in Ohio and I expect to earn a PhD in Rhetoric and Writing in 2018. 

Ghost Train of Youngstown is Copyright © Joseph Robertshaw 2015