To a train conductor outside Medicine Hat at four in the morning

Startled from your solitude you wave,


your great iron machine cries out a foriegn breath

carried since Halifax and the prairie grass

sways and dreams of being an ocean

in the moment of your passing.

More people, I am sure, have walked on the moon

have plumbed the depths of the sea and known shipwrecks ,

earth receding either way

than have known this peculiar vastness.

Deer interlope in town, browsing

medians and gas station boulevards


where still, there are no people,

just us hurtling into a punched purple sky and waving

now to coyotes pouncing in mice

amongst wheat stalks and swans

who beat their wings and sing

such an alien song.