I want to send
A sweet little cake
Of green and purple and gold
To a nice little person
With the grandest heart
So full of life and so bold;
In her railroad town
Twixt here and there
With its bicyclist and a spry crossing guard;
Life saunters on
As without a care
In these times both easy and most hard.
Guides us on
From inland rail thence to sea;
Perhaps one day
If the Fates grant upon
A chance to be in such company.
With this mere birthday wish
Escaping heart and mind,
Without cold years counted mathematical,
I wish unto her
Many happy years to her return,
With blessings to our own virtual COTU Gal.
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.