Marshall Warfield: Certainty

marathonlitreview —  January 27, 2013 — Leave a comment

One of my students is part of a group

that keeps tabs on professors.

Unpatriotic behavior

gets published online.

I wonder if the human race

has anything important left to do.

Feels like it’s been a while.

I forget what it was like

to enter a conversation

that could not later be indexed,

searched, and cataloged.


On the overnight train

crossing Pennsylvania

I am in the dimly lit

last car, passengers sleeping.

I stand at the rear door

of the train. Me, some glass,

then the tracks cutting

through the dark woods.

The train’s running lights

create a halo—bits of this path

emerge and then fall

back into blackness.

I jot down what appears

and disappears from view:

a pair of twisted pine trees,

rusty bucket,



I scribble and scribble—

so little of the world

in this narrow window.


Marshall Warfield teaches writing courses at Drexel University and serves on the editorial board of the literary magazine Painted Bride Quarterly. He writes poetry and posts at He also enjoys collaborative writing with people who work in other art areas—current projects include a documentary film and interactive visual art piece.

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