Ben Groner III

Vision of the Future Aboard an Amtrak Train


Tinted windows sepia-blur jimsonweed and

crisp crabgrass clawing through pavement,


erect propane tanks and corn silos, the silty

gray mouth of the lolling Delaware River,


a low stack of StorageLite units, parked sedans

encroaching on a residential street like plaque


along an artery. Rays sheening a development

of beige houses are unrelenting, though kind. How


can sunlight be childhood, memory, annihilation

all at once? A lone deck of bleachers bare of


spectators next to a high school football field

tenses for the fall season when a boy will refuse


to become his father, will leave the girl alone,

will rip his pads off in the dank locker room


before rushing to the riverbank, inexplicable

and trembling. His grandmother had spoken of


water made murky by sewage and soot, blood

from the upstream slaughterhouse, slick runoff


from Gulf Oil, chemical waste from DuPont.

But the river before him is clear in fractured


moonlight; his teachers tell him striped bass,

brown trout, American shad are returning—


some bony sturgeon even rove its depths.

There was always a chance. There always is.



 

Ben Groner III (Nashville, TN), recipient of a Pushcart Prize nomination and Texas A&M University’s 2014 Gordone Award for undergraduate poetry, has work published in Rust + Moth, Cheat River Review, Whale Road Review, Stirring, Midway Journal, and elsewhere. He’s also a former bookseller at Parnassus Books. You can see more of his work at bengroner.com/creative-writing/

Recent Posts

See All

Vots de casament I hear a woman yell but she’s a bitch! She’s a bitch. I sit on the red sofas of the Monarch bar, again, a beer. La más barata, por favor. Brindo por mis tías. Many alcohólicos en mi f

THE ROAD HOME The road home is full of dusts, on your way back you would learn to take Those classes you fled from, lessons of patience, how to marry the chaos softly, How little could mean bounty som

how to banish a ghost ritual is just another name for the habits grief carves from a mourner’s tongue. you empty your mouth until you’re a rabid song knee-sunk in your mother’s garden. prayers a rift