Sunday, May 24, 2009


Our May assignment called for a short piece on 'The Whistle Stop'


It was hard to distinguish the beige from the brown
And I barely acknowledged the sepia plain.
With endless parched paddocks and no sight of a town
The landscape absorbed our scurrying train.

Whistle-stop stations occasionally slipped by
Like the punctuation marks spacing a page:
Platforms, place names, water tanks now dry,
The sole bleached reminders of a more prosperous age.

I had travelled this line four decades earlier
As a young man about to begin a career.
I was on my way back, balding and burlier
And smiling at the hopes of that innocent year.

I remembered the smile on a young girl’s face
At an unremarkable whistle-stop station.
Our eyes met in a gentle, mental embrace
As we shared the moment’s elation.

A discreet wave from both as the train pulled away,
Too soon the connection was broken
Yet the potential for love was there that day
Without a word being spoken.

So life has gone by and forty years down the track
I reflect on mistakes and misplaced affections.
There is time to regret, as the train trundles back,
What is lost through life’s missed connections.



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