“Terminal Park” reads the vine-covered sign
where junkies and drunks reach the end of the line.
Come morning the coroner’s van threads its way
through under- and over- growth gone to decay.
But this was a park once, the sweet countryside,
a Sunday adventure where people would ride
in the days of the streetcar, away from the grime
and the stench of the city, both ways for a dime.
The place wasn’t named with sardonic intent;
to them the name literally said what it meant:
this was, after all, where the terminal was,
and the dactyl in “terminal” pleased them because
it mimicked the clickety-clack of the track
that lullabied babies to sleep going back.
And right in the center a marvel was set:
the engines were turned in a slow pirouette
on a platform that carried the giants with ease
in an arc of a hundred and eighty degrees.
But ironies happen. The auto age came
and abandonment wrought a new turn on the name.
The literal iron was scrapped and the place
was left unattended, a terminal case.
Now derelicts shiver by fires in the dark
with no return tickets from Terminal Park.
“Terminal Park” is the title poem of Terminal Park (Able Muse Press, 2022).