fortysixninetyone

Lazarus’ Train

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Two boys play by the ties that lie like coffins. They jump
over the tracks, with their bicycles, like grasshoppers in a field
daring the birds. The boys have done this before; one mother promised
her boy tragedy and he rejected her words.

The track’s ballast begins to rumble
like the approach of the Second Coming. Smoothly: the train rides on top of rail.
The boys dared each other to jump in front of the train. Forty miles an hour, yet the
train looked like it was in a glue-trap, unmoving in time.
The air brakes engage.

The older boy jumps and is struck. He flies above the track like a rigid plastic doll, and
crashes into the metal rail, traveling down the track as a broken handcar.
Medics and police come, they call the mother and she weeps.
Like a water-stained bag of stones the boy lays, his mother calls for him, but he
never sits up like Lazarus.

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