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That Rambling Man

Been reminded of days gone by
      when the doors were opened wide,
The endless rails called loud his name,
     sent an iron horse to ride.
Geese were flying a mile above,
     salmon were making their run;
People down at the corner store
     dreamt of winters in the sun.

Preserves were stacked five jars high,
     window screens are packed away;
They've gathered wood from fields afar
     to keep freezing nights at bay.
Skates are sharpened for the ice,
     snow sleds pulled down from the wall;
Some think about the distance gone
     and how much it costs to call.

The prairies that were left behind
     underneath the broad blue skies
Were forgot like towns bought and sold
     with each ticket that one buys.
Those left to clear the frozen paths
     still question where they belong,
They think about the miles passed by
     and how far he may have gone.

Whispers of smoke now drift on high,
     children gather 'round the fire;
Moms and dads dream of moving on
     come the day when they retire.
Somewhere deep in a padded cell
     sits a man without a name,
Been there since nineteen fifty nine
     with his picture still unframed.

Of all the things he left behind,
     a childhood is missed the most;
More now is lost than what's recalled
     when the rails ran to the coast.
Tears often run down weathered cheeks,
     spittle drops onto his vest;
He still can hear those whistles blow
     on the trains that once moved west.

Copyright © Daniel Larson | Year Posted 2016


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  1. Date: 6/13/2016 4:37:00 AM

    A deep and emotional poem.. Especially that last stanza... I enjoyed your recollection of childhood memories..