The Railroad: a Manet painting

December 10, 2007
By Katelin Adams, Anniston, AL

thick bars separate
an infinite Sunday morning
in my periwinkle dress
with mama at my side
the kind of morning where mama says
I needn’t be a lady yet
from the oversized caterpillar
that gobbles up people
through door-shaped mouths,
taking them away two-by-two
aren’t they afraid?
dirty men clink their hammers: “hello”
the machine growls: “who are you?”
holding the fence’s hands,
I blankly repeat its question about me

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