Monday, July 14, 2014

Waiting on the Train

Waiting on the Train

Two gentlemen: 
one in tie and grey suspenders and crisp white hat;
the other in blue overalls and crumpled fishing hat 
and holding a smooth, wooden cane in his hand;
sit, laughing and happy, in the front porch swing.

They keep company with a gentle, white-haired lady,
prim and proper in her Sunday best,
relaxed in her rocking chair,
passing the time on the front porch,
while the scent of honeysuckle drifts on the breeze. 

All conversation comes to a stop 
when the 3:15 comes roaring by,
just a short distance away 
on the tracks at the edge of the lot.
They feel the vibrations through their feet
and up through their bones.
They wonder who is on the train,
where they are going, 
and how their lives are about to change.

She holds up her index finger in a "just one minute" wave.
The trio nod and smile at each other. 

When the caboose rattles by 
and carries the last of the roar away with it,
the exchange of words and stories continues.

Some of us wait for the trains to pass 
so we can tell our stories in the quiet.

Others of us are caught up in the rhythm of the noise,
embracing it and singing along with it, 
as we jump on the train and ride to the next station.

                                         *   *   *   *   *   *   *

I recently visited our local art museum where in one room they had a display of photos of trains. One particular photo caught my attention. It really appealed to me, and it inspired me to write the above poem.You can see the photo and read a little about it here. On the site, you can click on the photo to enlarge it and get a better view.