Hear Trains

So sault means “jump,” as in
sauter in France, but not
in New France! In Old France
the l dropped out. In New,
they kept it: Sault Ste. Marie,
the leap, the rapids. But
in a linguistic roux, Sault
became Soo, reduced. Very
practical, actually, like
semaphores or an aquifer.

Why, clouds needing airfoils
ballooned up over the skiff
portage under the overpass
of the Soo Line and north to the
Soo-Dominion connector,
as sailors to the top.
They say skip because the ship rolls;
hear trains while asleep slipping into foul-weather gear,
hear trains while asleep.

From Hear Trains by Caroline Knox. Copyright © 2019 by Caroline Knox. Used by permission of Wave Books.