by A.C. Hedglin
This poem is about Darius "The Train Commandeer" McCollum
|Something About Trains
NEW YORK – Darius McCollum, 39, was sentenced in April 2005 to three years in prison for his latest commandeering of a train and subsequent joyride. Court records showed this was his 20th incident involving trains or buses, an obsession that has so far caused him to spend about a third of his life behind bars. “I just love trains,” he had told arresting officers.
The rhythm of the ride
and the smell of black smoke
wrinkling the weathered face
of the man behind the bullet train.
Quicker and tougher than the trains
was the engineer,
who had to slip behind closed doors
and fight to steer this train, his dream.
Train songs and transient souls
rattle around the rambling memory
of the man maneuvering the locomotive.
Cold black steel and Marlboro Reds
are old, familiar friends
to the rough-edged brakemen
with all his jailhouse habits.
Maybe crossing the continent for the first time,
or outruning the bandits who would rob him,
or delivering his passengers safely to New Orleans
but then he slows into his next station.
He exits from the engine room
with his hands raised up high
He can only run with this addiction -
It’s the nature of the train.