The Train

Train brakes
in a river-run circle
around my world.

Do you hear the train?
Does it wake you as it sweeps
­.. its coal-filled path
…. around the Mon?

…… 49 cars
……….to each
………… engine

Had you noticed?

The ever-present Conrail symbol
.. smiles at me

…. 50 times,
…… 100 times,
………. or more.

Then, at night,
when the train rumbles
through a thick valley fog,
.. do you watch for the train
…. that you can only hear?

Nichole M. Dulin




He thought the gumball machine was romantic.
Bright colors
spiraling down
to a silver-plate special delivery
behind door number one.

The quarter jammed.
I recommended the store.

But the quarter wasn’t as important
as this,

So I suggested that I could be sweet,
smooth curved, soft, and acquiescent,
most significantly,

Nichole M. Dulin



Alma Mater

I brush my hand across the cinder blocks,
Across the table tops, filing cabinets, and locks.
Searching for a piece of my old reality.
As if the walls still hold a piece of me.
As if they remember me and love me a little.
As though time did not make pages brittle.
I breath the air searching for smoke, wax, developer, newsprint,
The stale memory of each countless midnight hour stint,
A hint that I left anything lasting here in this space.
I didn’t.

There’s nothing familiar here to reminisce about.
I’ve been painted over, knocked down, and moved out.
Walking out I stop in at the bookstore.
I’m still searching but I don’t know what for.
I buy some mementos. Ornament. Decal. Clothes.
The lasting impression was on me. As it should be, I suppose.

Nichole M. Dulin