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Waiting on the Last Train

 Author: Terry Allen  Category:  Publisher: Kelsay Books  Published: May 15, 2022  ISBN: 1639801367

Trains have forged a deep bond in our psyche. They foreshadow arrival, departure, celebration, anguish, hello/goodbye, tears of joy/sorrow, and pull along all the heavy freight of a lifetime. In Terry Allen’s book, Waiting On The Last Train, the reader will find all of these mile markers and milestones. These poems adhere to a tight schedule, delivering to the reader the many confusions of life and politics, along with the backstory of an aging couple who are lovingly engaged in the world. Allen is well-practiced and knows that we put one foot in front of the other just as we put one poem in front of the other, each leading us a little farther down the tracks. Whether we live in The Show-Me State or as his wife says The Draw-Me-a-Picture State, we must hurry to the platform, Waiting On the Last Train, is ready to leave the station and take us on the ride of our lives.

Walter Bargen, First Poet Laureate of Missouri, and author of Until Next Time and You Wounded Miracle

Terry Allen’s quick and knowledgeable mind deftly unspools poems that become journeys for the reader, some satirical and some poignant, some with historical foundations and some that, on the surface, are ordinary conversations, but take on profundity as the poems unwind. This collection made me laugh, put pangs in my heart, filled me with quiet wonder, and taught me about historical figures and events as if a friend was telling me their stories.

Kathleen Kayembe, Octavia E. Butler Scholar and author of You Will Always Have Family: A Triptych

Terry Allen’s Waiting on the Last Train, is as delightful as the train rides I enjoyed as a child, imagining the fleeting lives of those who lived near the tracks and listening to the humorous tales told by fellow passengers. As a dramatist, Allen is a master of dialogue and action and his poems about celebrity and history display surprising twists and turns. Whether you are enjoying a train ride or waiting for the last train, you will enjoy this poetic journey.

Barbara Leonhard, poet and author of Picasso Dreams Broken Glass and From Your Son