Many of these poems will be of the city of Schenectady from early 1900 to the present.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

She Travels Alone

She Travels Alone

The sound of the train traveling over
tracks reminded her of her legs
pumping, rocking back and forth
on a fancy metal foot rest of a
Singer Sewing Machine.
Legs with strong muscles; and a
thimble on her thumb, pushing cotton
over metal and then the sound stops.

Out the window of the train
hills, large meadows,
streams, a small pond and
naked trees kissing icicles
as a warm wind brushes snow
gathered late last night.

Traveling slower, close to a town
small children wave at
all the strangers in small soiled
windows where she peers at
impatient motorists at a railroad
crossing, she hears the whistle.

The train rocking now from
side to side, crossing Main Street.
A common place, people cross
cobblestone – as familiar as the
odor of garlic browning in olive
oil – a fresh tomato ripened
on her vine, or the apple shared
from the fruit man.

The conductor shouts, “Schenectady.”
Legs uncross – cross – nervous
squirming in her seat, fidgeting,
fussing over a wrinkle found on
her blue cotton dress; fingering a
corsage pinned to a gray overcoat.

In her mind she kept touching the
holes in her husbands socks, reaching
for the pin cushion near large spools
of white thread, she’d stitch, and
break loose with her teeth.

The flowers disappear from her
dress and a dingy apron
drenched by dirty water is tied
at her waist. Her hands, raw
scrubbing her husband’s
skin. Her body a machine, like
her sewing machine, over and
over until soot is removed from
where he works.
Her husband, nude, as the water
from his back is closer to black.

And now - she travels alone.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

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