(Sonnet 2) In the Upper Peninsula, I’d Try to Hop on Passing Trains

but they were always going too fast.
I’d read about people having their legs
chopped off. So I didn’t want to risk it.
I thought having your legs chopped off
while trying to board a train would be
even worse than having your arms
chopped off while trying to board
a plane. Or having your head
chopped off while trying to board
a UFO. I used to think stuff like this
while I was lying in the brown grass,
out of breath, watching the train
go by like a blur, the sky behind it
waiting to show me how blue it was.

Ron Riekki’s books include And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing, 1917-2017 (Michigan State University Press,) Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (2016 Independent Publisher Book Award,) The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (2014 Michigan Notable Book,) and U.P.: a novel (Ghost Road Press). Books upcoming in 2019 include Posttraumatic: A Memoir—Essays & Flash Non-Fiction on the Military, Prison, Iggy Pop, The Devil, & Writing (Four Chambers Press/Hoot ‘n’ Waddle), The Many Lives of The Evil Dead: Essays on the Cult Film Franchise (McFarland, with Jeff Sartain,) and Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice (Michigan State University Press, with Andrea Scarpino.)

Photography by William Crawford