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Nicole Zhu, 13 Jun '13

Last night I heard of a town
Surrounded by train tracks.
They boxed everything inside -
The Burger King with a fireplace, the damaged people, the secret ache to get out.

There were train tracks enclosing the high school, a perfect container.
Most students grew accustomed to the railroad crossing’s bells and lights,
But some would wander back at night, watching the red light flash, blink back
At them a challenge: get out, get out, get out.

One year, four teenagers threw themselves in front of trains.
The next year, the town passed an act
That allowed twice the amount of trains to pass through.
Freight, passenger - a way for people, problems, pressure to get out.

Train conductors passing through knew the town well.
It took their innocence: “Who was your first?”
“My fourth year on the job, a 15-year old girl was laying on the tracks but I only saw her when I was a mile away.
I couldn’t stop the train that quickly. And she didn’t get out of the way.”

And the town still lived within the tracks,
Letting more trains come and go as they please.
With increased frequency and convenience,
More and more teenagers thought “This is the easiest -o-n-l-y- way out.”

Comments · 3

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  • Nicole Zhu said...


    • Posted 6 years ago
  • Susie Shircliff said...

    Chilling! Would love to hear this as an audio!

    • Posted 6 years ago
  • Orlando Ramos said...

    Yeah chilling is an apt word for this piece. What came to my mind as I read this is crazy, and I like the voice you infused it with

    • Posted 6 years ago