Dewey defeated Truman here,
or so the paper said, the one
held up by a triumphant smile
at the back of a rail car. Millions
had blurred through in war-time
urgency, not seeing a future
of biking rails, not rail lines,
of airplanes, not passenger trains,
of shopping centers, not edifices
of architectural majesty. Still,
it endures, thrusting up from
its concrete bed, almost a fist
shaking in the wind,
more than a memory,
less than a reality.
Photograph: An Illinois Central passenger train leaving St. Louis Union Station in the 1950s.