Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Naugatuck Line No. 2


Train Departing

The past is a cacophonous tumult
a maelstrom of melodies
some singing
some wailing
some marching defiantly. 

A railroad coach abandoned half way up the Naugatuck Valley
it's ruined upholstery, a nesting place for rodents and small birds
the meaning of the train
the track
the valley 
whiplash through time 
factory gears flash
amassing brassy fortunes
sparking dreams
winning wars
grinding lives to ash
populating suburbs with 2-car families. 
If not quite music, may it be chaos akin to the orchestra tuning up!
The black track along the river, where does it come from, where does it lead?

On the side of the coach a swastika has been spray-painted, an ancient tune. 
Who put it there and when? How does it reverberate out of the valley's past? How does it partake of the Valley's bigotries and rivalries, its compromises and its compassion?  Or is it the scornful howl of those who have come unhinged from history, beside the walls of Bedlam while the rest of us try to remember the past.