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Wednesday, August 15, 2007


by James Arthur Anderson

I’m standing at the station with no ticket,
like a jilted lover, and the train is about to leave
                                       for parts unknown.
It seems I’ve pinned my hopes and dreams
on the might be and the could have been,
and now I’m sick and tired of waiting
                                       for that bell to ring.
The damned thing’s cracked,
a damaged, useless icon
                                       for something we no longer have.
The Leader’s on the train, riding in the Pullman car
with all his donor base wearing party hats
and waving flags and eating pork rind sundaes free
                                       for the asking
                                       for those who pay the price.
He gives a fancy, abstract speech about his love for love
and God and country and making the world safe
                                       for you and me
and then He calls
                                       for support
from you and me and everyone else in Dixie ,
and then he leaves those of us who can’t afford the ride,
leaves us standing on the platform
to watch the train and wave goodbye.

James Arthur Anderson is currently Professor of English at Johnson & Wales University ’s Florida Campus, and Adjunct professor at Florida Memorial University , where he teaches creative writing and British literature. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island, and his B.A. and M.A. from Rhode Island College .