One-Thirty to Three AM on a Train Through Eastern Ohio

Perfect snub of a nose
parted lips, drawing moist breath,
this child
After I hoist his heavy, sleeping body
from its tilt on my seat
back into his chair,
and I curl up, cat-like, facing the window
and I rest my head: silk skirts stuffed inside a jacket
and he, his: Spiderman fleece pillow
I hear the rasp of his body sliding back across the seat towards me.
So, still reclining,
I let the warmth of his torso, curved, press against my spine.
A comfort, this sleeping stranger.
His mother in the seat behind us
conjoined ease. 

July 2015


Featured image: One view of nighttime rail travel. (Spring Greeney, 2015) 

Spring Greeney is doctoral student in the History Department and an arts instructor with the UW-Madison Public Humanities Exchange. Her dissertation, an environmental history of doing the wash, examines how washerwomen and laundry workers made sense of the non-human nature encountered in ostensibly domesticated spaces over the past 150 years. She rode the train cross country this summer. Contact.

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