to myself how it is that some freight train
loaded with ballast so a track may rest
easier in its bed should be what's roused
us both from ours, tonight as every night,
despite its being miles off and despite
our custom of putting to the very
back of the mind all that's customary
and then, since it takes forever to pass
with its car after car of coal and gas
and salt and wheat and rails and railway ties,
how it seems determined to give the lie
to the notion, my darling,
that we, not it, might be the constant thing.
- Paul Muldoon
Thanks to Irish poet Paul Muldoon, and to Bill Moyers' book-length transcript of interviews with poets called Fooling with Words, who brought it to me.