Hey, sorry I wasn’t at the cabin when you came by today. Had some errands to run. Seems like you just can’t let the garbage cans go for any length of time. Bears like them full, and raccoons have an eating orgy if the lids aren’t tight, so this morning I headed for town and the garbage transfer station. After I finished that chore I headed for my usual table at the L&L Beanery, and decided to wait for you there.
I’m glad you’re ok with meeting me here and at the house, but you haven’t said much. I’d like to hear more from you, and if you have poems you’d like to share, no problem. That's what writers do. I’d love to read them, and maybe I’ll put one in the blog, with your permission. It’s nice here, the coffee smells terrific, and it’s a beautiful, cool day in the mountains.
Look across the street, the tourist train is idling at the station. It’ll load around eleven, so the tourists will start to arrive soon. Some days it’s comical to watch them, trying to fill the time, and corralling kids who were more than ready for the ride when they left the house in the city this morning. Today’s a school day, so most of the kids are little ones, and asking why they can’t get on the train, and when, and why, and why, and why ….well, you can hear it as well as I can. The retirees will arrive on busses or with friends to see the mountains. All will have a good time meandering along the Toccoa River to the border, then back a few hours later. I often run out and stand at the crossing just down the street and wave at the kids. They must think I am a crazy old man, but I love trains.
When I was in the Navy I used to catch the train in Cincinnati, and ride it back to the coast, arriving the next day in the early morning. When I was a kid I’d sit in the apple tree and look out over the valley and watch the smoke from the train headed down river, and dream dreams about going there. Well, I’ve been there, and what an adventure it has been.
Back when boxcars were open it was easy
if you caught it on an upgrade after some curves.
It’s pretty simple if you’re tall and can grab the door
get a good shove-off, and all of a sudden you’re pulling
yourself up, and you realize if you fall you’ll be under
the wheels, dead before you know it,
and the train won’t even hesitate.
Some decades later I’m eating lunch on the square
thinking maybe I slipped under the wheels
been dead for thirty years, and this is just a dream.
If I am, then what idiot would make up a dream
where he is wearing three hundred dollar suits,
working twelve hours a day in a cubicle,
banging on a computer,
instead of climbing high mountains,
wading free stone creeks for big trout,
sitting in a log cabin in front of a fire
listening to night sounds in the Blue Ridge?