The Passing of an Era Long Gone But not Forgotten
Main Street station was always somewhere
special in my past.
Not like today where diesel trains
go whizzing by too fast.
Great Grandad took me there to pass
a Sunday afternoon.
To wait and watch for the big steam train,
and eat ice cream with a wooden spoon.
How I'd fidget with impatience
'til the train came into view.
The shrieking whistle on the breeze
let out a screech or two.
The smoke stack belching plumes of smoke
that lingered overhead,
as it slowed it's journey on the rails
of the rocky railroad bed.
People gathered on the platform,
tickets in their hand.
Some waiting for a loved one,
or a journey they had planned.
Excitement mounting as the engines'
wheels rolling ceased
and hissed a sigh of discharged steam
from somewhere underneath.
The porter by the baggage car
exchanging trunks and mail.
The din of voices intermixed,
controled confusion,a joyful wail.
Hugs and kisses,tears and sighs,
warm embraces and sad goodbyes.
The waving hands as if in accord,
when conducters' voice cried " ALL ABOARD"
The great iron wheels spun once or twice
as steel on steel would grind.
Smoke huffing and belching up from the smokestack
as it jolted the cars that were coupled behind.
The clang of the bell announced it's departure,
those left on the platform stood waving ,resigned,
As the mighty steam engine chugged off,soon forgotten,
replaced by a new one, of a different design.
Now the romantic era of steam trains has ended,
and bullet trains scream over tracks they once rode,
but lodged in my mem'ry I still hear their whistles,
remem'bring the sight they once were to behold.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Posted: Oct 2012
About this poem:The last time I saw a Steam Engine in regular service,other than in a museum or brought out of mothballs for a special occassion,was in 1956 as it stopped to exchange passengers at Main Street Station.The year after Great Grandad left on the final journey.I miss them both.