I posted a poem a little while back called Hobo Humanity. It was fairly talky and unpoetic in traditional terms, even if it expressed an emotion that I felt at the time.
Someone recommended rendering it down into something more poetic, and I gave it a shot. Here is the result:
Sam rode in the hay of the box car with the skin of livestock
From Kansas city to Orleans
Nursing the smell of dung from his wool coat
Half asleep rocked by the train
Half awake jolted by the gaps between wrought tracks
Hunger kept him company
His death face appearing
Stubble filling the sunken spaces
Children and spouses were left like stations several stops back
In the days that appeared through cracks in the sliding doors
And the nights that swallowed him whole
He used to hum to pass the time
But he only remembered one chorus of one tune
And the sound of “Oh Suzannah” made him remember the miles
So he stopped and practiced smiling.
Sam rode in the hay from Orleans to Kansas City
Hiding with the sheep
Hands in their dung
Half asleep smothered by wool
Half awake waiting for the doors to open in daylight.