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A poem by Kimberly Shyu

I lie in bed, eyes glued wide open, staring at the ceiling. 

I’m blinded by the freight train chugging down the tracks, moving slowly at first but picking up momentum with every second. 

Steam erupts from its chimney.

A loud horn sends sound waves thundering through the silence of midnight. 

I have to decide soon: jump out of its way and watch it disappear… or hop on. 

As it moves closer, I see its bull horns tied to the market jewel and headlamp, bold and beautiful like a stag standing at full attention. They cut through the air like a machete, leading the train to a land of free markets and irreversible defrocking of manipulative institutionalists.    


I jump on. 

It’s instinctual. It’s emotional. It’s dangerous. 

But I’m here now, riding the train. 

I sold some belongings to afford my ticket. 

I’m fully aware the risks are high, but the potential rewards are higher. 

The passengers are wild—

some raucous, shouting obscenities; 

some funny, cracking jokes; 

some serious, lending advice. 

Some spout proffers of diamonds and gold, while others warn of perils ahead. 

It’s a dichotomy of ethereal promises and threats, 

because they’re invisible to me, as am I to them. 

Some paid a high price to ride this train; others paid only a few bucks. 

But despite our differences, we’re beautiful, because we’re unified—powering the train that is now racing down the tracks with unstoppable fury, accelerating relentlessly toward its target. 


In our way stands a bloodbath the likes of which have never been seen. 

The storm brews overhead as we pick up more passengers. Some disembark, gladly ready to find another method of transportation. Most of us hold hands to support each other.

Another train appears in front of ours. 

It’s short, but heavy and powerful with the license plate, ‘Shorty.’ 

Evil oozes from every orifice, seeping green bile at others’ expense.

Suddenly, bolts of lightning shoot across the sky, then touch the ground and creep closer and closer toward our train. 


The train stops suddenly. 

We’ve been struck. The passengers… we are not seen by one another. But we are HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR. 

This is modern history in the making! And we will not be silenced. 

We push forward.

The storm erupts like a supernova, sending shockwaves across the world. The sky is against us, throwing everything in its power to stop our train, disgusted that we would dare disrupt its order and purpose: to grease the skids for its friend, Shorty. 

Shorty lunges for us, battering us repeatedly and unabashedly. 


We find support near and far, while Shorty’s outlook grows grim.

The war evolves beyond our interests of gains and salvation. 

We could lose it all, but we know it is worth the revolution. 

And if American history has taught us anything, revolutionaries are in our DNA. 


How will it end? 

Only time will tell.

All I know is I will gladly pay to see this movie in the theaters someday. 



Poet's Choice Book April 2021

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Poet's Choice April 2021

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