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Trying to Escape

By Marilyn Carnell

Ozark boys both born and bred
I remember well my Aunt who said
My cousin was so prone to doubt
The most amusing things about
He was so thrifty, she’d explain
He wouldn’t give a nickel
to see a pissant pull a freight train.

Trains run through my life it seems
An endless metaphor for strife and dreams
Although I never wanted one to
Take me rambling
My dad pined to captain one day
A thundering engine scrambling
To be the first to drive a train that way.

Trains came and went and even now
I wonder how Daddy hopped aboard
A long flat car and clung to it with a vow
To get to Texas on his own accord
He must have leveraged his crutches
To evade gravity’s unrelenting clutches

Gravity’s clutches clung to him
As he lay face down along the rim
Of the weathered wooden planks
As the train pulled into the very next station
His brother stood beside the track
To rescue him and bring him back

Going back was not his choice
He did not rejoice
To return to a grim life of getting by
With no hope of boarding
a boxcar to find a way of life that
Would be more rewarding

©March 2022 Marilyn Carnell

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