by Ginny Short
The train whistled
On its way out of town
The past a tattoo
On the small of my back
Ahead the sweep of bridges over vast canyons
Tracks through open fields
Towering western gorges
dance of ocean waves on rocky spit and glitter-strand
I never looked back
The wind on the train
Became a sunflower on my tongue
While marigolds bled through my pores
AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: This is a set of train tracks, now abandoned, heading along what was once the Bradshaw Trail in Southern California. It represents to me the amazing trails that led from New Mexico (where I grew up) through Arizona and into California. I feel like my journey here was just following old trails and tracks…nothing new, but new for me. (Photo by the author.)
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I left home when I was 18, taking a train that moved me across three states. I couldn’t wait to move, and I never looked back. It was a breathtaking ride and it has led me to a breathtaking life!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ginny Short is currently a student at the Regis University Mile High MFA program in Denver, Colorado, studying poetry and creative nonfiction. Her day job as an ecologist in the field of conservation and plant and animal ecology takes her into the extreme conditions of the deserts of Southern California, where she finds ample inspiration for her writing. Writing is a passion that comes from her love of the natural world. She loves reading, writing, photography, and playing with her abundant menagerie, all of whom are rescue animals.