The Sunday Trains
come through clogging weekend
traffic like a fatty buildup in veins.
I dashed out from the new little
house at the first distant whistle,
afraid I would miss standing by
the tracks close enough to touch
the huge cars.
I needn’t have worried. On Sundays
they forego the Alameda corridor and
bring through the freights much of the
day to the consternation of the locals.
I stood right next to a stopped freight car
after the screech of breaks. I could
have climbed on and dropped off on
the other side to buy the Sunday
Times at Albertsons. There’s a small
cat walk on each car for just that. The
tracks are a half block from here if I go
out the back gate. This has been my
neighborhood since 1962 when I started
at Torrance High and had a student
who lost one of his legs putting pennies
on those very tracks. I remember his
boyish face and telling me that he still
loved trains, and explained he was on
his third leg, but that he was through
growing. I, too, am still enamored by the
sounds and size of a train, and I’m back.