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Our street ran parallel to the nearby tracks. These tracks, passage to a bigger world. The trains traveling these tracks would often be going slowly as they delivered and picked up cargo at a docking area a few miles down the tracks.  These were great for hopping and sneaking a ride.  In the opposite direction was Ohio. 
service road
parallel to rails
      running track
           my own private joke 
           forget everything – just run
Trains also traveled through without stopping.  These trains were long and came by at night. 

can't sleep
a never ending freight train
carries me along

Peninsula Poets, Fall 2021

Varnish Company Gym

Over the fence
up on the barrels—watch out for cops.
Rusty nails protruding
from broken wooden pallets
go right through gym shoes if we step on one.

Varnish in barrels, tar pools, black.
Sticky in the summer, hard in the winter,
always on our shoes and clothes.

Follow the leader
barrels that sway


over the fence
      across the tracks
             don’t look back

Poetry Society of Michigan Five Year Anthology, 2021, p73

Skiffle – Green Street Style

We played 
whatever instruments we had.
Our music
with a folk sound
would float off 
into the blues.
From blues to 
jazz – and
then back to folksy blues.
On hot nights 
the music was like a mist
that settled over us
bringing cool relief.

During the winter
the music was like a warm
quilt that your grandmother
had made for you, 
warming you deep 
into your core.

Peninsula Poets, Spring 2022, p23

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