The 7:31

photo of wetlands
The 7:31
leaves earlier, and takes longer,
but the local to Secaucus
always has a window seat.
I watch each town pass by outside,
the houses huddling together
just a bit more tightly at each stop,
the green between shrinking
until all that grows is pavement.

The tracks turn towards the city
as we depart the penultimate station,
sidling alongside a motionless canal.
On sunny mornings, basking turtles crowd
every rock and branch and discarded tire
that breaks the murky surface.
Egrets take off as the train flies past.

Beyond the channel, the horizon opens up
and The Meadowlands spread out before us.
Each day, each hour, differs from the last.
At low tide, mudflats teem with seabirds,
hunting and pecking amidst the reeds.
High tide rolls in like a mirror, clear blue or cloudy,
And water and sky become one.

At 8:10 a.m.
the conductor calls out my stop.
I leave my window seat until tomorrow.

Carol Wolf

Carol Wolf is a graphic designer and fine artist living in the woodlands of northwestern NJ.  Carol’s artwork and writing explores the natural world, seasons, and the passage of time.