Erie Lackawanna Train Poem c 1977



The smoking car smells like men,
Cigar smoke, cigarettes, and then
Old Spice mixed with shaving lotion,
Jumbled in one common motion.

The other cars are damp and crusty,
With dead beer cans, all cracked and rusty,
But even when it’s standing room,
To the weary traveller, it’s perfume.


Notes: As a college student at Rutgers-Newark, I commuted for two years on the Erie Lackawanna railroad – from Denville to Newark, and back again. I still like trains. For the most part, they smell a whole lot better now, than they did back then.

Author: Virginia Wagner Galfo

These are scary times. Prepare yourself to take a stand for what is right. God damn it, just be kind!

3 thoughts on “Erie Lackawanna Train Poem c 1977”

  1. I used to live in Princeton, NJ, ride the train to NYC passing Newark, know exactly how you feel.
    love this one, well done,

    invite you to join poets rally week 52 today, submit a poem of your choice, by finding the blue “add you link” button in the end of the post, hit and copy and paste your link name, and email in, submit , then read by clicking on names from the collection.

    leave your link in the comment if you need help.

    keep it up. hope to see you in.


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