Last Monday two people were struck and killed by a train here in town as they walked down the tracks. According to surveillance video, neither attempted to move out of the way despite the train’s repeated warning signals.

Those two have been on my mind all week, so I decided to write about them. This is what I came up with.

Photo by Antoine Beauvillain

Locomotives rush by. I wonder why
your lives ended that day. 
Was there something someone could say?
Was it better this way?

It’s not like you were our brightest or best.
You’d racked up arrests.
You put folks out
and they were sick of you, without a doubt.

Still, once upon a time,
onesies filled a clothes line.
And surely someone held you dear. 
So how’d we end up here,
you two on a railroad track, dead, 
but living on in my head
because I can’t shake free
the thought that could have been me? 

Most folks in town 
go ahead on, unaffected,
but I sit alone 
and grieve for you as the trains moan.

11 thoughts on “Grieving

  1. The loss of any people can be quite palpable. After the Boulder mass shooting, I too have grieved the senseless loss of the victims for themselves, their families and friends and my own humanity.

    1. I can relate. I have grieved every mass shooting I became aware of. It was overwhelming to me when depressed. Now it is an ache inside but I share it with my words to set the feelings free.

  2. That is heart wrenching. I can’t fathom the despair those two people — who were born into this world as innocents — must have felt to choose that end. Thank you for feeling, and thank you for caring, Jen.

    1. And now add to the list a Capitol Police Officer who died because he went to work today. I cannot bring myself to feel any care for the person who killed the officer, though he, too, was once an innocent.

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