Freight Train

Cara Brennan

You wrote your name on a freight train,
sprayed a metallic scenario
over the heavy-haul snake, flecks
of paint, cracked scales.

Your tag raced the length of soundproof trees
like mute words in glass bottles,
jolted around blind corners;
young dancers in dark rooms.

You wrote your name on a freight train.
Two hundred miles of steel blazed,
friction flashing
small parts of your existence.

Tracking a life, the click-clack
of graffiti, high-speed calligraphy.

Cara Brennan

Cara Brennan was born in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, in 1990, and currently lives in Newcastle, where she has just graduated with distinction from Newcastle University MA in Creative Writing. She has worked for Flambard Press and Mslexia, and more recently at Newcastle's Lit & Phil library. She is a graduate of the Writing Squad.

Her poetry has been published in Stanza Stones: The Anthology, and by Ink Sweat and Tears, Dead Ink, The Cadaverine, Pomegranate, Myths of the Near Future, NAWE and The Beat. 2012 saw the release of Cara's debut pamphlet, Destroyed Dresses, from Valley Press.

Freight Train is the oldest poem in Destroyed Dresses, and the first poem Cara ever learnt by heart; like many in the collection it deals with identity and trying to pin down fleeting moments. Cara says she was inspired to write the poem on a long train journey: looking up at graffiti on a train she thought 'the only thing I know about the artist is their name. I wonder who they are and what motivates them?'

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Freight Train © 2013 Cara Brennan: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.