I wrote this today after coming home from visiting family over Thanksgiving. Writing is great therapy.
I remember the girl from ten years ago,
with fire-blonde hair
who grew up next to train tracks
so it messed with her hearing.
She told me the quaking house,
the propelling whistle
filling every corner of every room
never woke her up,
as long as she could remember.
Those train tracks ran
across town and I remember–
how it fought my insomnia.
When I heard the steady
beat and the soft, distant echo
of the whistle, I was pulled into
comfort—home—and I remember
the girl from five years ago,
with black hair, and after school
we would put pennies on the tracks because she didn’t want to go home,
and when she stood on the rocks behind
Nixon Park, she would scream as the train screamed with her, because it was the only
time she could be free—herself—now,
I understand about not wanting to go home.
Because when I lay in my bed
and hear the train from across
town, I think about how
it was different, and Dad
still lived at home, and I wasn’t
visiting from across the country,
and the sound didn’t remind me
of the perfection I once held,
and that distant train whistle
instead of loss.