by Joan Colby

The railroad museum is conducted
By retired conductors and signalmen,
Engineers and ticket takers, gandy dancers.
White haired, heavy set in striped overalls.

The steam tractor show is handled
By elderly farmers and mechanics,
Boilermen and harvesters.
White haired, scrawny in short sleeves and work pants.

Some can’t give up
Who they were, what they were up to.
No Florida trailer parks for them.
No golf, no casinos, no walking tours.

In winter, they grease the monoliths
Or assemble miniature farmsteads
Complete with wooden cows and pigs
And small green John Deere’s that work.

Seven books published including The Lonely Hearts Killers, The Atrocity Book, etc. Over 980 poems in publications including Poetry, Atlanta Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, The New York Quarterly, South Dakota Review, Epoch, etc. Two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards (one in 2008) and an IAC Literary Fellowship. Honorable mention in the 2008 James Hearst Poetry Contest—North American Review and the 2009 Editor’s Choice Contest–Margie, and finalist in the 2007 GSU (now New South) Poetry Contest, 2009 Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize, 2010 James Hearst Poetry Contest and Ernest J. Poetry Prize Joan Colby lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois with her husband and assorted animals.