Shunting

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Shunting
McAdam Railway Station # 7

So many memories
cling like hobos
to freight trains.

Tracks as always,
sleepers, steel rails
an optical illusion,

joining in the distance
where the miles
between now and then

knit themselves together
and we are young once more,
riding the rails,

dreaming of towns
beyond this town,
dreaming of the future,
not the past.

Comment: This is one of my own memories. We lived by the railway yards in Swansea and again in Cardiff. The trains were a regular part of my dreams. I lay awake one night waiting for the 3:20 to London, but it never came. I couldn’t sleep, waiting for that train. Next day I learned that there had been a railway accident. When I returned to boarding school after the holidays, I would lie awake at night waiting for trains that never arrived. We had a track close to the school, but we called it the Beetle Crusher because it was old and rusty and used so rarely that the beetles, who never knew when it was coming, would get crushed when it arrived. I have written a book about that train and that school, but I have yet to publish it. When I was very young and we travelled to London on the Great Western Railway (GWR) train from Swansea High Street, we had to go up to the engine driver and say ‘hello’. And then we had to thank the engine before we set off. Iron, steam, coal, inanimate to many perhaps, but live living animated beings young children who sat, like our ancestors in Gower caves, and watched the pictures the sea-coal flames painted in the fire.

2 thoughts on “Shunting

  1. Good morning, Roger. I very much enjoyed this poem. Trains are indeed evocative, and I’m confident they do carry memories with them. I particularly enjoyed the title.

    Today I give four presentations–two to very young school groups and a second, different presentation to 2 other, sort of young groups. (Yesterday was building the presentations.) Tomorrow is ArtRageous Day, with thousands anticipated to arrive en masse. So yes, quite busy, but I’m getting my writing in as well. Cheers, Chuck

    On Fri., Jun. 7, 2019, 1:36 a.m. rogermoorepoet, wrote:

    > rogermoorepoet posted: ” Shunting McAdam Railway Station # 7 So many > memories cling like hobos to freight trains. Tracks as always, sleepers, > steel rails an optical illusion, joining in the distance where the miles > between now and then knit themselves together and we are you” >

    Like

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