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by David W. Landrum in memory of Earl Wade Beckwith At the sleepy station where lizards grey as dust scurried, fleet-footed, over berms of baking stone and tracks gleamed in relentless sun, the car pulled up, the Russians disembarked— grey uniforms, red stars, red epaulettes and smiles and handshakes; later you would learn they were in training at Fort Smith and would be shipped back to contested steppes to use the skills (whatever the skills were) they had learned here. One gave you his red star. Neither you nor he could speak except by smiles, except by attitudes that indicated friendship. They climbed up when the whistle blew and went into the distance wavy with heated air, fragrant with tar-smell from ties soft-warmed in sun, the caboose fading off far past the spot imagination’s line drew to a point, beyond experience. David W. Landrum is originally from Arkansas but lives and teaches in Michigan. He says this poem is a part of his family lore. "My cousin met Russian soldiers who had come to train in Fort Smith, Arkansas, during World War II and had the artificat mentioned in the poem - an encounter he related that has always intrigued me," he says. David's poetry has appeared in such journals as Gloom Cupboard, Small Brushes, The Formalist, Clapboard House, and many others. He also edits the

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