010 – Railroad Dust

I used to follow the tracks
Walking toward nowhere
They were rusted iron dreams
That lay quietly pressed against the gravel of giants

For so many
Steel rails
Signify an escape

They were a westward bound dream
And hope for brave new world
Where fortunes were made
And loves lost

They are the Hollywood Cowboy
Or a reckless teen
Full of angst
Trying outrun
The good
The bad
And the ugly
If they could just get there
Before they were caught

They are for the wanderers
Who crave no walls
Rules
Or borders

With the slam of hammer
And a golden spike
We decided we wanted
More than our own backyard

For some
They are the final escape
A chance to move on
From torment
Hate
Pain

For me
They were a playground
A chance flatten bright copper pennies
Or a dare to hop on slow moving cars
And see who stayed on the longest
I never won
I feared the scold of my mother’s tongue too much

The tracks were a childhood
Of laying in the dirt across the ties
Staring up a bright blue sky
While waiting for the slow building rumble
That eventually raced along with my heart

I can still see the conductor
Pulling on his horn
Because me
At the age of 12
Commanded he do it
With a simple raise of my arm
And a youthful smile

I used to follow the tracks
Walking toward nowhere
They were rusted iron dreams
That lay quietly pressed against the gravel of giants

Robert Lloyd
22 August 2017

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