Railroad

There is a railroad not far from here. To the south of it, about ten yards away, there are several warehouses, some abandoned. To the north, there is wild buffalo grass and sunflowers, as far as the eye can see.

I’ve walked along the tracks many times. The trains still use it to carry coal, their horns echoing out for no one to hear. There are no passengers riding through the middle of nowhere. Who would want to see the dry, brittle part of town where no one lives? There is a reason no houses have been built here. There is a reason why only truckers, on their ways to other places, stop and rest. Why only those who have been turned around and gotten lost drive through here. There is a reason why the roads have not been fixed or filled since they were first put in.

No one has loved this place. This place where warehouses meet railroad tracks, and where tracks meet fields scattered with glass and lost toys. The sunflowers seem so out of place here, like someone tried to cheer this place up and then went home. Forgot.

I will love you, I tell the tracks. I tell the dried out buffalo grass. My feet are bare, but what does it matter, anyhow? I will love you, I tell the warehouses, falling apart with neglect. I will love you, I tell the sunflowers, the only color in this place. Bright, even against the sun gently setting behind the mountains. The grass rustles in response. The sunflowers bow their heads gratefully. The warehouses creak with an enthusiasm not exhibited in years.

The train sounds in the distance.

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