The Soft Sleepers Traveling in China

We lay three-high,
Stacked like flapjacks
In warm syrup blankets.

The train chugs along,
Rocking tenderly on the tracks;
Bunkmates asleep in its cradle
Snoring over dreams of America.

My eyelids wilt
While looking out the window,
At awakening rice fields
And a mirage of cows.
Frightened when a parallel train
Gushes past in a rumbling blur,
With caramel faces melting into a river of generations
Seen from a speeding time machine.

Ten hours later we will wake up
In another ancient city,
Where rabbits cook on street vendor grilles
And many walls are painted communist red;
But we are the sight to see.

by Tyson Allison

© 1998 Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope Online

Last update: 1 July 1998


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