Ghost Tracks

by Annette Marie Smith

There’s an old set of railroad tracks that run along Clark Avenue towards the back of the artists lofts where I live.
They stop abruptly at Harcrest Avenue before they reach us, unable to cross the road, seeming to disappear into the asphalt.
The place where they disappear looks to be the very place for a haunting
which is really a way of remembering
and is far more reassuring than frightening in any way to me.
When there’s a full moon I like to think that silver beams forge a latticework of railroad ties to let the ghost train over.
You can see it pause, taken aback, at its reflection in the real-time train that flashes by on University Avenue.
Then it starts to locomote again and sing its song: remember me, remember me, remember me.

Composition note: Some of the avenue names have been changed. Poetic license.

Sometimes We Are Cassandra’s Children

Poets are Cassandra’s children
nevertheless and also because of this
we continue to mark our words
against the hope that we are heard
tell truths that prickle
but wear collars of inevitability
that make of us mute birds
when we speak out
against the war and wall
and our words get lost
in folly of bomb fall
we were right, we are right,
we caw, we caw
but the words can’t seem to rise
beyond our craw. — Annette Marie Smith

Butterfly lessons

Photograph via

One of the most interesting things I’ve read recently is the report about a study in which butterflies were found to remember things they learned as caterpillars. It stirs my thoughts to things of a metaphysical nature and prompted this poem as well:

I will remember you
as the butterfly remembers things it learned
in its caterpillar youth.
I will carry everything, even the pain, but
with the wind beneath my wings. — Annette Marie Smith

Here’s a link to the article from NPR, an old one but new to me. 🙂 Link