We’ll be Coming
Mama, us three kids and a suitcase in tow, ran back and forth beside the depot
trying to find where we were supposed to be, panicked, as were we, and the long
whistle blew and she screamed and we cried and a black porter beckoned from an
open door. We jumped in and Mama, out of breath in her butterfly dress, collapsed
on the scratchy seat as the train started its glide. She dug around in her big purse
for cans of Mandarin oranges, Vienna sausages, hardboiled eggs. I stuffed my yolk
between the seat cushions when she wasn’t looking, drank paper cones of cold
water from the fountain down the aisle until I peed on the humming floor and Mama
had to find me some dry clothes. It was hot and she told us open the slider but don’t
stick out our heads or they’ll get knocked off. We saw telephone poles roll past,
smelled stockyard stink, drove our six white horses past barns, spinning windmills,
drylands, open skies, all round the mountains.
Karen Jones is a retired high school teacher from Corvallis, Oregon. She finds she is able to observe and experience the world in greater depth through reading and writing poetry, and she hopes readers will enjoy her poems’ pictures, rhythms, and sounds.