Crossings

Anna Elkins

My train slows through a weedy crossing
where children wait, holding their bikes
at angles under their short bodies, twisting
the handles right and left. I catch the eyes
of a small boy with white tires. Before he blinks,
I’ve imagined his house up the road and me in it:
frying pan still warm from the breakfast eggs
I just cooked. His bin of building blocks empty,
yesterday’s castle still commanding the middle
of the living room. I will leave it for him to come
home to. He can still feel the washcloth I used
to rub his fingers clean of honey and mud. But just
as he blinks, I look away, and we both know I am nothing
near mother and am not regretting it. These eyes
don’t soften and ask Did you sleep good, baby?
Where’s that dirty shirt from yesterday? Too many
miles between his pedal-itching feet and me
in this graffitied, backward-facing seat, watching
the curved body of my train pass an anonymous
knot of children, car after car after car.
© 2007 University of North Carolina Greensboro
CURRENT ISSUE
PAST ISSUES
SUBMISSIONS
CONTEST
ABOUT THE GR



ABOUT THE AUTHOR.


ANNA ELKINS received her MFA in writing from UNC Greensboro in 2000. She is studying in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar, writing ekphrastic poetry inspired by digital and New Media art. She is also a painter.