A Walk Along the Rails


A walk along the rails
The ribbons of iron blaze a trail atop their bed
The frost of the autumn night gives way to persistence of the sun
As I walk, exhalations of my breath shroud my head
A gentle reminder that winter fast approaches
My pace is brisk, aided by the spacing of the ties
My journey continues onward skirting the foothills of Buckingham Mountain
A breeze, a zephyr if you like, whispers in my ear tickling my lobes
The leaves of red and gold rustle then tumble to the rails
Encircling my head like a wreath, scents of the season tingle my nose
A chortle of chickadees, juncos, and sparrows echo the valley
Off in the distance, the steam whistle of Engine No. 40 pierces the air
New Hope & Ivyland Railroad’s finest is on schedule
The silence that follows is deafening, the world along the rails stops
The steady tremor of the earth beneath my feet alerts me, I step aside
The iron horse rumbles by, the churn of its rounded hooves is constant
Passengers greet me like an old friend, vigorously waving their hands
I reply in return with a wave of my arm as they disappear around the bend
The silence slowly wakens again, the shower of leaves continue again
I continue my journey, by myself once more
 
By James Betts