Which is louder at a.m. 4:30?
Walking with a black Lab
the back streets of a small Kansas town,
a hot-shot freight angling in from the south,
its horn tromboning longs and shorts,
sounding the aching steel on steel
of freight cars, oil tankers, flat cars, coal cars
(but no caboose … never anymore a caboose)
all overlaid by the diesel electric OOOMMM
of a thousand Buddhist monks?
Or is it the moon?
The full, perfect purity of July moon,
following from the starlit, navy blue west,
calling its ancient mooncall of silence?
I say it’s the moon.
J. T. Knoll, a native of the Republic of Frontenac, Kansas, is a counselor, prize-winning newspaper columnist, poet and speaker. “Ghost Sign,” his recent collaboration with three other Southeast Kansas poets, was selected as a 2017 Kansas Notable Book. He lives in Pittsburg on Euclid’s Curve, with his wife, Linda, and dog, Arlo the Labradorian.