The Sunnyland Express - Poem by John Libertus
I can't see up close, anymore, without glasses;
I think that's why I bought the motorcycle.
Now, when I wake alone, in the dark before dawn,
instead of wondering why God left me here,
I can look out the kitchen window
at that black beast gleaming on the sidewalk
and wonder why I bought the motorcycle.
My sons and daughters, now become
the grownups of the family, are bound to say
'You're going to kill yourself';
yesterday, when I bought the thing,
and sneaked it out of town
to try its power and my nerve,
without plates, helmet, or front brakes,
I thought the same thing,
but I was out to find
where these hills come to Heaven.
When my wife died, I stayed with Mom,
a widow, long those many years,
and found a friend; she told me once
'When I was just a kid,
there was a train came by our town
they called the Sunnyland Express;
we kids would shiver there, out on the tracks
to see who'd be the last to run
when the Sunnyland Express came thundering down.'
I laughed, and said, 'What did you call that game,
'Leaving on the Sunnyland Express'? '
Now, on the edge of winter,
in these last warm days that I can ride,
I think of Mom,
and how the winter always comes;
and of my callow joke,
and how she wore her wedding ring until
the Sunnyland Express came whispering by
on its way to summer.
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