Repost from the Minneapolis Star Tribune
[Editor: On October 8, 2015, the Star Tribune published Barbara Draper’s incredible, wonderful, beautiful, moving – and frightful – poem, “Oil Trains.” The Star Tribune gave it their own title, “Slithering into Minneapolis.” Published here with permission from the author (and reformatted to her specifications). – RS]
A slithering line of obsidian tank-cars
from craven North Dakota
quakes the freshwater lakes of Minnesota,
then stuns the Mississippi.
Now on a neighborhood street in Minneapolis
it rumbles overhead —
over a bridge whose stanchions are stamped 1920.
Concrete crumbled off.
Ninety year-old steel shoulders the load.
I hold my breath against the ghost
like I did as a kid riding my bike past the cemetery.
Crows of unacknowledged intelligence
…………. ….and dive
as though raptors were invading their nests.