Saturday Afternoon on a New York Railroad Platform

By MARIA TERRONE

The National Guard is on patrol
in combat boots and GI Joe camouflage,
M16’s slung down to their hips,
young as boys on Halloween,
ready for anything, and I want
to hand every one of them a bag of candy.

Teens heading home from the shore
jostle one another, breaking
into impromptu dance; sparkles scatter
across a girl’s grass-green miniskirt
like dew. It’s Morning in America.
Her friend lifts a Coke
from a canvas tote striped red, white and blue,
and gulps deeply, head wrapped
in a star-spangled Doorag.
A squall is coming on. Wind swells
his Yankees t-shirt like a schooner’s sail,
shakes his gold hoop earring.

I lean over the track, pretending
to be fearless. Two cops stream past:
one, freckled and pink-cheeked,
his black partner middle-aged-weary,
like Huck Finn and Jim heading to
wherever the river takes them.

 

 

Maria Terrone is the author of three poetry collections including Eye to Eye (Bordighera Press, 2014) and a chapbook. Her work has appeared in magazines such as Poetry and Ploughshares and more than 25 anthologies. She is the poetry editor of Italian Americana.

Saturday Afternoon on a New York Railroad Platform

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