Folk songs

We used to sing
someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah

So long ago I did not
Know she was a train
Or that the kitchen was the vaulted place
Where someone might
Fix her

I always see
My grandfather’s kitchen
Coffee brewing
And a momentary sense of safety
In old stories

People he once knew
The threaded string of memory

working on the railroad
All the live-long day

I rise to a quiet kitchen
No signs of Dinah
Or any other train come crashing through
Still
I worry about Dinah
All alone

2 thoughts on “Folk songs

  1. My little-little one loves this song. I don’t remember when I learned what the kitchen was, but when I was very young, I, too, thought literally of a kitchen and a girl named Dina. Whether she was the one strumming on the old banjo or someone else, I never really did settle on an interpretation. 🙂

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