Her bags had been packed for a little while;
She gave up, having given him his chance—
She’d hoped he’d call or maybe something more.
At last the horn sounded off in the distance.
She attended Randolph-Macon, a sweet little school,
In the heart of the little railroad town called Ashland.
Tuition was tight, and she had to work most nights,
But she managed to keep onto some cash in hand.
Going home on Christmas Eve, she bundled up tight.
He said something that he worked at something in travel,
But shared not very much more, though he held her hand.
At the crimson memory, she scuffed her shoes in the gravel.
The bells and lights popped on the England Street gates
While clanged the Regional into the charming station;
Down to Charleston for the last of the school holiday:
The tracks sang shrill along with her wistful anticipation.
As the P40 slowed to a pause on old track number three,
The student grabbed her suitcase to get on aboard.
The door unfolded open, the conductor stepped off;
The yellow stool down; he reached out to guide her forward.
Student-waitress and nice guy-conductor stood stock still—
Alan? Kathy? But the press of passengers soon broke the spell,
And everyone got onboard quickly and surely aboard.
I believe the two had lots to say, one could just kind of tell.
The bell clanged again on the AMTRAK Regional Southbound
As the train slipped slowly down the road-girded track.
Curious folks on an online camera wondered at the pas de duex:
Of two hearts with a whole new story that overnight they’d unpack.
The gates rose back up to home and the bells fell silent;
The holidays lights on the street lamps flickered small-town cheer.
One engine and 8 carriages had been rightly and true counted—
While Ashland, virtual and real, awaited a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Been here for hours and hours
Think I’m turning blue!
But I gotta see! I gotta know!
I just know that it’s true!
Staring at the fireplace,
Looking for any sign,
It’s late late late Christmas Eve,
But Daddy says it’s fine.
Even if I wait all night
For hooves on our roof
But that won’t be even enough
I’ll need some real proof!
Sandman do your worst,
But *yawn* you won’ get me,
As I gaze at all the pretty lights
A-twinkling on our tree.
Wait! What was that?!
Something by the chimney?
Aww, it’s just that old fat Tom Cat
Playing with tinsel on a whimsy.
But *yawn* I feel so very warm.
*Yawn* but can’t go to…bed.
*Yawn* Sally Jane says he’s not real,
That, it’s all made up…in my…head….
Father smiled and picked up his Little Lilly
To take her at last to her own warm bed,
Missing some soot that trickled down,
When a jolly old man finally leapt off his sled.
–reprised from last year: