The depot in the summer

A string of yellow reefers marches past the depot

All the same with the ventilator fan shafts turning in the side of each car

Then the caboose and in the distance the light of another eastbound with another string of yellow reefers, all the same.

And again and again but the next time the headlight is different and it’s almost here.

The train slides past, the brakes squeal and the conductor opens the Dutch door.

He steps down as the attendants in the other coaches and the Pullman porters step onto the platform.

Off the train, watch your step, hugs and kisses and smiles

People rush to their loved ones, retrieve their luggage or head for their cars.

On the train, watch your step, hugs and kisses and tears

The old ladies and men stand there smiling and waving goodbye to grandchildren crying in the windows.

The porters and attendants pick up their step boxes and board leaving the conductor on the ground to look up from his watch and give his signal.

He boards and slams the door shut.

It’s silent and then the streamliner glides forward.

The grandparents take a few steps with the train and blow kisses at the sad little faces.

The engines strain, smoke lifts into the air and a cook standing in the doorway of the dining car turns and shuts the door behind him.

In the distance a headlight pulls another string of yellow reefers, all the same.

 

 

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