Our First to Board the Train

When in doubt, take the train out...








By R. Choo-choo

A thick train window separates you from rows

of grey olive trees squatting in a blur of groves.

It is not hard imagining their branches

prodded by the wind waving you goodbye


Or the afternoon downpour stabbing

sideways against the glass ––

an inconsolable rain weeping for what is lost,

or how the farmers in the fields of Fiorenza


bend like burlap sacks half-empty of feed,

how they conceal their sad faces

in the coarse masking shadows of trees,

or how that train stealing you away


pretends it cannot hear or cares not at all

about painful separations

or the whimpering of small human hearts.

Santina, you are going away.


Inside the compartment you sit by the window,

fragile, swallowed whole into the steel

belly of a beast, abducted from your stone house,

empty now beside the cobbled street.


Your parting words like the fragrance of you

will linger forever in lonely rooms.

You are going away. In this Tuscan village

there are no surprises that come with the dawn.


The same sun sparks the day; the same moon and stars

crowd the night sky, but you, hungry for change,

insist you will not die without first tasting Milano

where you will vanish from my sight.


Free of small-town constraints, set free in the big

city, vulnerable to street-wise distractions,

how will you remember

our two hearts once beating in perfect time?


Or how once in happier days

God’s face bearded with white clouds

smiled down on us from the sky of this

now grieving village?



8 thoughts on “Our First to Board the Train

  1. Stef says:

    My laptop mouse might be useless, but when it freaked out and sent me to the A Word With You Press page on Facebook, I decided to listen to my intuition and come back to the site and lo and behold…the trains are being boarded!!’

    The imagery of the branches waving good bye will stay with me as we transition into cool fall. We always think of romantic images when we think of Italia, but even grief can create rainbows. Wonderful start to the contest <3

  2. thorn says:

    My well trained literati! Forget not that all entrants to this contest are given better names than the ones they were born with. Makes it harder to track! (I know…i need a better line.)

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      As a woman who gave herself a first and middle name better than the ones she was born with and lost in love, I would remind you that a lustful rope line thrown out of a train car and attached to a switching post by any other name can be less a taxing, closed loop hole around a woman’s heart than a noose party to the relationship that you do have. The love train by any other name can derail as sourly.

  3. Parisianne Modert says:

    I slowly read this poem three times then a forth before the cloud cover in me cleared. When the tour of Italia appeared in the sun of my morning’s reading between the lines, I think I understand the deeper, personal loss of a time that will never be again, but I’ll reserve my comments to beautifully turned phrases, images, emotions, moods and sad loss of what once appeared to be love. “Lasciate omni speranza, voi ch’entrate!” – Dante Aligieri “Remember the sweetness when your love was anew.” – Parisianne

  4. Michael Stang says:

    Choo-Choo–the transition between innocence and freedom, a loss just the same, is well written. These are modern times as I understand the thick glass of the train. Poor pitiful me has no choice but to watch her go. Could be anywhere, but Italy has that certain touch.

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