Three Sunrises from Amtrak

Mountainsm Rails rise through dimness, course alone the stone, and moonlight turns to snow. The iron wheels breathe slow rhythms upward. Stone and snow and sky spiral about us, and suddenly snow flashes sunlight like a semaphore, and startles us with landscapes far below. Star-lit, the desert dreams the night away. Ghost-shapes merge and pale and vanish. Vista fades into vista under stars that swirl like fireflies and fail. Dawn fumbles at the rim and sky and desert like a mammoth shell open their distances in mother-of-pearl. The Riverm My last night's sleep is real, the sky still dark when wheel-sounds blur and seem to sing. I wake to see wide water, moving smoothly with small waves and water-sounds, running beside us. We curve into it. A red edge of light touches the farther side, rises, and thins to orange, grows round, and leaps out from the water's burnished track. How serendipitous that as we cross the Mississippi the sun should choose those minutes to rise!

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