Through sprinkles on the windshield, on a gray, cloudy, Tuesday morning, between Emporia and Newton, Kansas

the back half of a long, stretched out train wends its way west, pulling gray, brown, and rusted cars that might hold grain or might be empty

Long sections of rust-colored cars are hooked up to long sections of gray cars, which are hooked up to long sections of mixed cars of gray, rust, or brown

most stenciled with the letters BNSF on the sides; some having painted-out graffiti here and there; others showing off decorative patches of graffiti

The train vanishes into a long line of tall, green trees

A bit farther down the road, two hooked-up train engines pop out of the trees, hauling the thread of gray, rust, and brown cars

and I hear a long, loud blast—a sad, mournful, multi-horned sound, generating a whole range of emotions and longing within me.



2 thoughts on “Long

  1. Enjoyed this. Partly because we have long trains running by here (218 cars was the longest we’ve counted; that’s two miles!) and partly because we have congregations near Newton (Halstead, Hesston, Moundridge) so it’s interesting to hear something from down there.

    • That’s a lot of train, 218 cars! This one was longer than what I’ve seen in a great while, but trees kept hiding most of it. Usually our trains have a ton of different colored cars or containers, this one just had the three colors. I think I was getting bored with driving and just noticed this. Ha.

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