“The train may stop/But the line goes on.”
—John M. Ford, “Winter Solstice, Camelot Station
Lincoln wept at Union Station
Viewing bodies in the dawn
Trains all stopping, doors yawned open,
But the line, the line went on.
Roosevelt at Hyde Park Station,
Waiting for crowds to be gone.
Waiting for votes of the nation.
Train had stopped, but the line went on.
MLK, Montgomery Station,
With folks he could lean upon.
Arm-in-arm past buses waiting,
Buses stopped, but the line went on.
The arc of justice moves so slowly,
As we walk from dusk to dawn.
Often we see no trains coming,
But the line goes on and on.
Jane Yolen is an author of children’s books, fantasy, and science fiction, including Owl Moon, The Devil’s Arithmetic, and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? She is also a poet, a teacher of writing and literature, and a reviewer of children’s literature. She has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the twentieth century. The Bloody Tide, a collection of poems about politics and power was published in 2014 by Holy Cow! Press.