When I’m on the Long Island Railroad
The trains stops and momentarily
I feel that we’re moving but in reverse
As if to be at rest is lost ground –
Only inches, true, but anxious lost ground.

The train cuts a razor course
Across roads, and cars digress,
Splitting, so we progress,
Fixed in point, pitiless to distance
Cutting forward, fearing distance.

And yet I feel us moving back.
Inch by inch at every stop we inch;
Forward motion fakes the feeling.
From February to March, maybe,
I’ve moved a quarter mile back.

And between the suburb and the city
I feel the pull of constant progress
Always forward, so rest can’t move me back
To the times when I sat by a window
In the breakfast nook watching sparrows.