HIGH AND DRY


There's a grain elevator and eighty feet of track
Where the trains don't run anymore.

The town is Oakesdale, Washington --
Here the U.P. diesels used to roar.

Where there's now just a narrow alley
There once was a right-of-way.

The railroad gave the townsfolk some pieces of their land --
Some think it has always been that way,

The Palouse hills still produce the same amount of wheat --
In the world, it ranks with The Ukraine,

What's required is a combination of fertile soil
And just the right amount of rain.

Here in the Palouse we have "winter wheat,"
It germinates, then is hidden 'neath the snow.

When the snow is gone and the spring rains come
This grain will be the first thing to grow.

It's hard to imagine enough volcanic ash
To make hills, just falling from the sky,

But that is what geologists have to say --
Remember Mt. St. Helens -- my, oh, my.

Now all the grain is shipped in covered hoppers --
We see no bulker boxcars at all,

All the UP branch lines have bitten the dust --
Followed ghostly has-beens' siren call.

by D. Edgar Murray 03/08/2001.