There is a scent
triggering disjointed visions.
The tin bucket
holding rocks or wood pieces.
Our versions of bologna sandwiches
with discount Mayo.
The three-legged wooden table …
A red-checkered cloth …
There was always a dented, silver coffee pot
left wondering when the next cup would be poured.
After endless hours
in the abandoned
We whooped our way to the corral,
Our classroom was a grain trough
for bum lambs,
forgotten or adandoned by their moms.
We clambered over the sagging fence
by the faded pump house
where my mom, as a child,
used to stash
Orange Crush bottles
in the chilly water tank.
The current from the Galloping Goose
pushed us up the hill,
as it danced by on the railroad tracks,
enjoying its last years on the rails.
The nice man in the caboose always waved.
I must have been 4 or 5 years old.
Around ’85, an out-of-town excavation crew
removed the last tracks heading into town,
and blew up the bridge trestle,
finally silencing the railroad engine forever.
In the late 70’s we could not
have seen this coming.
Our main concern being
who was the first to the tire swing
by the old house.
It was this person who got to choose
the sitting order.
The three of us could fit, but
you wanted to be the highest.
You didn’t want to feel the weight,
or the hot, black rubber beneath
shortening your breath,
as you planted your face
into the tank top of the one
above you. Inhaling
scents of sweat, heat, and the
soil of generations of commitment
to the relentless Eastern Montana land
beneath your feet,
as you tried to push off,
legs slipping off the bald rubber
held by the twine
my grandfather’s hands tied years before
Leaving us with disjointed memories,
to the fading sound of the train horn
still floating on the never-ending breeze.