Night Trains

A distant train whistle cuts the thick of night

Echoing a lonesome sound, strange comfort

Signaling there is someone out there

Driving two hundred tons of steel

Through the slumber of country towns

Night animals pause in their star-lit wanderings

Through the pines to measure

The danger in the train drawing near

My grandfather once heard a train at night

Not the drone of the diesel driven Norfolk Southern

But the high pitched whistle of a steam engine’s approach

Rolling over moon-kissed rails

He pulled his hands from the wedge

In the waist line of his pants

Donned his shoes and hurried us to the car

We raced through the sleepy streets

Of our little town

To catch the long ago train of his youth

Watching as it passed, I saw

A spreading smile,

his eyelids came to rest

As the whistle faded into the dark fields of the night


©2020 Lenny Wells

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