People come and go so quickly here

People come and go

Our town is criss-crossed by rail lines. Visitors who stay here sometimes say they cannot sleep because of the train whistles in the night.  Locals can’t hear the sounds – we’re so used to it. I wrote this one after a busy weekend at the theater working tech crew for The Wizard of Oz.


People come and go so quickly here

Nothing seems strange under these skies,
even a thousand tons of steel rolling through the
back yard. Like cancer or good fortune,
the dull grinding is so familiar we do not hear it.

In the old days, housewives would rush outside
on days like this, to pull the laundry
when the wind changed so their
linens wouldn’t turn black.

Oblivious, my grandfather would rush to the station,
bags falling open for his latest trip
while the great iron horse strained
between its traces on the Main St crossing.

Tonight, Colin and his lover are steaming upstairs
while the rest of us are sacked out on the couch,
words slurred and walls swaying in time.
And none of us thinks this strange.

But the trains keep rolling, the soot
turning in the sky like a Kansas storm,
and I know I must leave the warmth
of this hearth, but only after I sleep some more,

lulled by the rocking of the room, the
cares of the day, the wheels and rails,
the song of the night as the eleven-fifty-five
waits on Main Street. And my bags are barely packed.



About Andrew Kreider

I'm a poet and musician,transplanted from London, England to beautiful northern Indiana. By day I am a stay-at-home dad with our three kids while my amazingly talented spouse conquers medical school one long shift at a time. At night, I'm a performer and trouble-maker. I love my life.

13 responses »

  1. Andrew, I love it! Why not send this one in to the Truth? Love, Mum

    Eleanor Kreider “The Eighth Day” 215 West Dinehart Ave. Elkhart IN 46517 574-522-1838

  2. Andrew, that is so wonderful, you really took me there–the rhythm, the sway the soot. It was like a song–made me think of Arlo Guthrie “City of New Orleans” Thank you for the swooning smiles 🙂

  3. Very evocative poem – I love this:

    “Like cancer or good fortune,
    the dull grinding is so familiar we do not hear it.”

    This is inspired writing – good job, my friend.

  4. Poetry and trains – two of my favourite things. This is a really atmospheric poem, which crosses the years as easily as those iron horses cross Main Street.

  5. i grew up by the tracks…they are sweet music every time i go home to visit…help me sleep you know…smiles…you def capture it…i like your zoom in…from the past to now and your moment there….very nice…keep mine packed as well…smiles

  6. Great rhythm to that…

  7. Terrific story telling specially these lines:

    But the trains keep rolling, the soot
    turning in the sky like a Kansas storm

    Happy OLN ~

  8. Hi, I enjoyed this people are always on the move and the trains keep rolling. Nice work!

  9. Your pieces always have a story-teller’s charm wrapped throughout. Enjoyed this 🙂

  10. great train description and the poem flows

  11. I like this very much, and miss that train sound.

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