My First Steam Engine Train Ride
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Sunny, hot, humid, summer morning, taking my first train ride
I'm so excited and it's thrilling can't wait to go north where it's cool
to stay with my grandpa and grandma.
Ma and pa say I'm old enough to go by myself, I'm in awe
dressed in my Sunday outfit, crinoline, and my fine bonnet
decorated with ribbon and blooms I watch with my pack.
Passengers restlessly anxious waiting with me at the depot
for the train to come up the track.
Buck boards and horses with their riders running by
dust clouds form, covering everything with dust, I sigh.
Making us use our handkerchiefs as we cough and pace
beads of perspiration causing tiny streams
down my brow and face leaving thin streaks in the brown dust.
A great swell of the blackest charcoal smoke billowing smokestack,
whistle blowing steel wheels against the rail
cause a braking, screeching, vibrating sound;
locomotive coming up the rails in to view,
like a charging black rhino.
A massive moving machine, a fantastic sight to take in,
to carry me off to places I have never been.
Conductor howlers, “All aboard!" As we stand, at the depot.
I hurry to sit in the hard-wooden seat by the window.
The conductor in a black uniform and hat, usher and walks up
the aisle of seats to check everyone's ticket to see if it's in order.
We finally start with a jerking move, whistle blows,
smokestacks start billowing with the circling gray, black smoke.
Staring out the window for hours at the scenery
of the outside world as it passes by prairies,
telegraph poles look like pick fence, buffaloes grazing on the way.
Smoke starts coming in through the windows, settling all over, and pollute
getting my Sunday dress black with soot.
Conductor routinely came around checking for sparks
that flew in among the passenger and started small fires.
It's an uncomfortable experience,
every bone in my body aches from the hard-wooden seats,
every bump and sway of the train.
Beds are a little more accommodating,
wooden shelves stack one atop of another.
The swaying of the train lulls me to sleep
dreaming of the things I will see and do.
Cannot wait for this journey to come to an end
so, I can get off this miserable, filthy, harsh riding, train
to a warm bath, and grandma's cooking,
with a comfortable chair, and feather bed.
Contest: Railway Journeys
Sponsor: Shadow Hamilton
Contest Winner Medal 1st place - My First Steam Engine Train Ride
Copyright © Eve Roper | Year Posted 2015
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