Note from Joe: This poet was a junior in El Dorado High School (Orange County, California) when he wrote this poem as an assignment. His teacher, Mr. Leonard, posted his students’ poetry in a school hallway for all to read. I happened to be walking down that hallway one day, and was thunderstruck by the qualitative difference between the other poems and this one. I’m sure you’ll agree that this is a great poem. It reminds me of my grandmother’s description of old age: “The years go fast but the days go slowly.”
Blocking the train as it passes the station,
A penny left by a childhood memory throws the train off its tracks.
No survivors, no witnesses, no boxcars,
Only the subtle cry of a steam whistle.
Slowly, the hands of the ancient clock, rest,
Rest as though rusted by a lonely tear, a thunderstorm.
Faster it sways, the pendulum of life,
Oiling the hands of our destiny, our past.