Poem: Mile of blood on the Elmira tracks

By: Chuck Orlosk


On balmy October morning, 2013,
Dillon G. (16) trespassed RR Tracks,
listened to hip hop music on head set.
Earth rumbled, scream of locomotive horn;
The voice of Bruno Mars, “you walk around
here like you wanna be someChuck Orloskone else.” *

Nothing influenced Dillon to get out of way,
cry, cry, the community bygone cries –
I know he had no ambitious intention
to find blood borne pathogen (Haz Mat)
cleanup work for me to do that day,
but turned out he did.

On-the-job, moored stars in Elmira sky –
Dressed in yellow Tyvek suits
and wearing cartridge respirators,
Mike Reuther and I crawled on knees,
searched RR tracks for signs of blood,
and placed Dillon’s masticated remains,
including spleen, piece of jaw with 5-white teeth,
(along with bloody ballast stone & sorbent pads),
into five 55-gallon (US D.O.T. approved) drums.

Dear Bruno Mars,
O how I wanted to be someone else…,
flee the Golden Spike line!

Later, en route (north) to Syracuse, NY,
with a load of “Infectious Waste,”
we stopped at Flying J truck stop for bite-to-eat
& where I purchased a scratch-off lottery ticket,
with hopes I’d never have to hurt again.
Scratch, scratch… look see!
It’s just another “loser” for me,
and Dillon, may I ask,
did you ever hear my scattered ash scream?

* From Bruno Mars 2013 hit song, Treasure.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.