THE PASSOVER


There's an overpass that passes over some weed-covered ground
Near an erstwhile rail junction named Seltice,

Everyone who worked for Union Pacific Railroad Company
Knew that its name rhymes with, "Pass the salt, please,"

This piece of former right of way -- I still have the timetable --
Was part of the Pleasant Valley Branch,

There's not much there that is as it was in my childhood --
Uninhabited farms and an occasional ranch,

From Seltice, by way of Oakesdale, en route to Winona --
The lines were built to access the Palouse,

My Evergreen State, Washington -- our flower is the rhododendron --
Was once crisscrossed by branch lines for grain elevators' use,

I've been around long enough to remember steam locomotives --
I saw the last one U.P. built after the war,

They brought it out from Omaha for Expo '74 --
Originally "84," then renamed, "8444,"

There's a green locomotive that I've seen in recent years --
Once in Colfax -- a surviving depot near my hometown,

It brought nostalgia when I saw, "The Palouse River and Coulee City," --
I'm glad the beautiful depot in Pullman was not torn down.

                                                          by D. Edgar Murray 04/21/2000.