In the railed world of Thomas the Tank Engine
each train is named and wears a face
so when our son, Liam, now three, pushes
a pair of cars to the top of a hill and lets go,
"Gordon" and "Percy" clack down tracks
and smile into his opened hands. This year
our son has fallen in love with trains and
made our den a disarray of brightly painted
grinning cars he’s come to know by heart.
Sometimes when I watch him line them up,
his eyes so serious beneath his engineer’s cap,
I remember being his age in the fifties
and the railroad at the end of Albert St.
Locomotives whistled into our windows
pulling cars everywhere I hadn’t been,
the nameless places a boy dreams of
on December nights surrounded by family
and frosted glass. But no dream then
could match the joy of this Christmas
seeing Liam’s cream face blush
with happiness as he guides his trains
through tunnels, over bridges, and around
the circle of connecting tracks until,
like family love, like Christmas peace,
"Thomas" and his wheeled friends return
to touch our son’s emerging life again.
© by Edwin Romond.
Used with the author's permission.
Edwin Romond is a poet, playwright, composer, and educator. Now retired, he taught English for 32 years in Wisconsin and New Jersey. His award-winning work has appeared in numerous literary journals, college text books and anthologies (including these shown here), and has been featured on National Public Radio. Edwin maintains an active schedule of readings and presentations (check www.edwinromond.com to see if he's appearing anywhere in your area) and his most recent book is Dream Teaching (Grayson Books). A native of Woodbridge, NJ, Edwin now lives in Wind Gap, Pennsylvania, with his wife and son.
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