PoetryIssue 20 | May 2014

Train Kids

by Tracey Gratch

for Traci & Joe

They hopped the freight from Tucson, fourteen hours
on a grainer, in the rain. Got busted
just outside of Houston—bulls come pointin’
guns at us, crazy, but they took
the pup, and locked us up. We couldn’t get
her back until we paid the thirteen bucks.
Good thing is, they gave her all her shots.

They’re pierced, tattooed and scarred, clothing’s smoky,
soiled and worn, with oil and soot. They say
they’re headed south—we’ll get the Monday freight
to Tampa, where we got some friends to house us

I say, safe travels, wish them luck; they ask
for nothing, as the pup sleeps at their feet.

Baltimore, Inner Harbor

About the author

Tracey Gratch grew up in upstate NY and now lives in Quincy, MA with her husband and their four children. Her poems have appeared in various and sundry print and online publications including, Annals of Internal Medicine, The Flea,Mezzo Cammin, The New Verse News, and Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine. She has enjoyed skiing in the mountains of New Hampshire with family and friends this past winter/spring. She is looking forward to warm weather, long bike rides and relaxing at the beach.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok