The Old Tracks

As I walked it in my youth, that rocky old road
They were already gone then, run down, desolate
They had always been, abandoned for years
Overgrown with sumac and ivy,
All metal pulled out for scrap,
The wooden ties long gone for other things.

Yet I still shook with the thunder of their passing
Could still hear the roar of the engines
Feel the heat of the steam
In summer, grandfather would send me along them
Fetching cows from the back pastures,
Forgotten tools from the leaning barn

It was a long walk for a child my age
But the joy of adventure was worth every step
I travelled to far off places, imagination unbound
Lost in fantasy and wonder, joyous moments of time
That simple place, bringing such depth to my life
If only I could add it to my life now

But the memories I hold, tight in my soul
Shooting apples from the trees with my homemade bow
Chasing snakes in the gullies, to hear grandma squeal
There is a music to the past, a sweetest tone, perfect pitch
Even though I missed it then, I hear it clearly now

We lost the farm when grandfather died, dark shadow in my mind
And I, distracted by other things, path bent to travel other roads
Lost the magic of that youthful place, perhaps a piece of me died
Never again, through all I’ve achieved, nere to the adventure I had
Simply walking the ghost, of those old railroad tracks

Living in the mind of a child….

Steve ‘Easy’ Whitacre July 22nd, 2008

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