Blanton-Kiowa Line

Blanton-Kiowa Line

From Blanton up to Kiowa ran the Santa Fe,
her whistles lay silent to this very day.
It all started in 1902 by the DE&G,
stretching across the land just as far as you could see.

Passing through the towns that dotted the Great Plains,
she carried many a man and grain,
transporting stories of love and pain,
even running up those Great Salt Plains.

For ninety odd years, her tracks, they sang
as the street crossing bells, so sweetly they rang,
where the Rock Island line once met the Santa Fe,
greeting passengers as they went on their way.

Bought up by K&E back in 1997,
this line ceased to be—gone to train track heaven.
Old maps and books alone now speak of her station.
Her tool house leaves no trace of its foundation.

Her bridges have now fallen into the river.
No more freight shall she deliver.
The line still vivisects the landscape—
a scarred reminder of past escapes.

The land is divided by a barrier of green—
a line of trees that once shielded folks from the heat
slices through squares of red dirt, hay, and wheat.
In this land that once tilled itself to dust,
only a few tracks remain, just left to rust.

Now no one remembers ole W.B. Blanton,
nor the big white sign for his namesake junction.
He worked the rails from the south to the west,
once touted in the papers as one of the best.

So when you’re out walking that Pine Pass Trail,
just remember the story of these mighty rails.
If they could only talk, the stories they’d surely tell
of the Blanton-Kiowa line that once ran so swell.

D.L. Lang
D.L. Lang
D.L. Lang of Vallejo, CA is the author of nine poetry collections, including 2016's Poet Loiterer which Kirkus Reviews described as containing "Free-spirited ideals couched in fairly infectious rhymes." She enjoys performing her poems at open mics and entering them in county fairs.