Journey (poem)

Imagine that you're standing on a familiar street
Everything around you is cleared away in your mind's eye
There is nothing but concrete and a dozen rows of railroad tracks
A train comes... You board with little more than a suitcase full of dreams
Suddenly everything you are leaving behind is the past

Many of the people you knew have died or disappeared forever
Many of your friends were not friends at all
Some of your best friends will be left behind
You are traveling to a big city... and through many cities to get there

All along the way you sense that there will always be danger
You could be robbed of your suitcase full of dreams
You could be betrayed, imprisoned, killed or run over by a car

As you approach the big city there are lights and shadows
Like a film noire movie... you get off the train
You walk until your feet are blistered
Then you walk until your blisters have blisters

You explore endless tunnels and underground worlds of trains
There are newsstands full of newspapers and magazines
Conductors and ticket agents call out destinations

Above the gentle roar of trains arriving and departing
Waves of men wearing boiler suits descend into the station
Where many trains await them

You see people from faraway places and foreign lands
As you leave the station you follow winding rivers and ancient streets
All filled with astounding skyscrapers

You ride a fast and powerful elevator
U p the tallest building in America
Down below you see miles of skyscrapers
But your destination is a small city hundreds of miles further
Where a parent has died and left you a mystery

Who am I and why... and how soon can I make my own mark upon the world
How far will this dark and foreboding sadness follow me
Will it take me... as I am forced to see old rusted factories where runaways wandered
A ghost town once filled wih teaming waves of people now mostly gone
Replaced by others... as you fit all the reborn memories
To places where you knew

Children of the rain.... orphans, vandals, vagabons
Neighborhood children of the industrial heartland
Children of the trees and.... tree houses
All of which are now gone... replaced so viciously that you almost need a cane
But you insist that you are young... refusing to encapsulate the past

You look forward... knowing that you were born to love
To be a great lover who did not believe in broken dreams
In your dead father's car you go driving in the rain
So much is missing but you are not empty inside
You have watched carefully... visited graves galore
Jotted down memories... stories to be immortalized

Defying formaldehyde... you catch a few of the dying
In your old town obituaries
While your first school is being torn to the ground
Erasing eveything that marks the memories

The taste of food.. the cloth seats of a 51 Chevrolet
The post-war brides young and beautiful in polka dot dresses
Picking up throngs of babies booming at the kindergarten
Weekend summer nights at the drive-in movies smelling of popcorn
Colas in hard glass icy cold bottles
A certain look carried in the eyes of your father under the tip of his fedora

A great belief that this is life and dreams will come true
A sense of these days will be left in the dust
Only to discover that so will all the days of the future
Be lived for naught by those who fail to gather treasures of the heart
To be given away generously
Long before the sound of train departing
Rips away the soul

Started 2008Ap23We (aprox 2:30am EST/DST/night)

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© Vincent B. Rain