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The Train Tramps

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Below is the poem entitled The Train Tramps which was written by poet Michael Wayne. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Train Tramps

Bedraggled and grimy they hike from the tracks,
Fleeing the urban centers to the south.
Unsteady gaits and sun worn skin glow.
A young couple with a thin mutt,
Ramble towards a local store.
The lively grin of the underfed dog transfixes me.
An overweight canine in my backyard has lost its zeal.

The unshaved one asks for cash.
I hand him a dollar.
The female asks for my socks.
I decline.
The company owns them.
Besides, they are drenched in the sweat of my labors.

The pair identify themselves as stowaways.
Unticketed travelers of the iron horse,
Riders of metallic pathways,
With destinations of unknown location,
Drifting to sleep in one state,
Arising in another.

They have not occupations or debts,
Shunning instruction for adventure.
Fed by the view,
Nourished with movement,
A tent rolled in a dirty backpack serves shelter.
Canada, Mexico, Pacific, Atlantic, 
These will be the varied backdrops of unbound lives.
Taking in more in a week,
Then I in a lifetime.

I will return to my mortgaged life,
Sleep in my fixed  bed,
Swallow the familiar and safe routines,
Honoring my responsibilities and obligations.
I can not chase after wild dreams today.

I am ashamed to say,
To this very day,
I fight the urge to cry.
When trains meander by,
Because I know I’ll sing this same old tired song.
While the train tramps have all but left and gone.

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  1. Date: 7/14/2011 6:42:00 PM
    Sad and touching..very true

  1. Date: 7/14/2011 7:57:00 AM
    I liked this poem a lot. we are all running but after the wrong things.