blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



Two Trains

Kansas City and St. Louis
are 240 miles apart. A train

leaves Kansas City traveling
at 60 miles an hour; another

leaves St. Louis at the same time,
traveling at 40 miles an hour.

Question: which train will be
farther from St. Louis when

the trains meet? Does it matter
that the woman on the faster

train is married to an archaeologist
who has dug up an old coin?

That he spends his days and nights
in his office studying the girl

on the coin? Or that the woman
could have an overnight bag

at her feet and the lover not?
Answer: when the trains meet,

they will be the same distance
from anywhere. And we’ll never

know if the girl on the coin is
barefoot, her legs dangling off

an old dock, or whether she is wearing
a skirt, or whether the lover on

the train has a suitcase with all of his
belongings under his seat. 

return to top