While You Wait

Railroad tracks 2Remembering a local business that disappeared in the name of progress.  I can’t show you a picture, because it’s gone.  But here’s the general location, right next to the tracks where it sat before the new underpass went in. Written to share with friends at Poetic Bloomings and the dVerse Poets Pub.


While you wait

Before they built the underpass there was
an oil change place by the railroad crossing
on Main Street. Stuck waiting for a train?
their brazen candy-stripe sign inquired,
Have your oil changed while you wait!

and I often did, screwing up my courage
to sample their outrageously strong coffee,
thick as 10W30, hot as the devil’s arse,
while the train rattled slowly past and the
grease monkeys scampered around the bay.

One time I read a book on their table about
sibling rivalry. Another I remember staring
out the dirt-smeared window at the quietly
falling snow. I thought great thoughts there.
I decided straight-up: God loved the railroad.

But in the end not even God could help against
the wrecking ball of progress. Now I don’t wait
for trains any more. I get my oil changed in
a place with a stuffed bass on the wall.
It’s too clean. And the coffee has no soul.



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.

14 responses »

  1. You are such a story teller, Andrew. Thank you for another good yarn to ponder!

  2. Superb! We miss we often become fonder of something when it is gone, eh? Great tale. But I must say that sippin’ the devil’s ass was cruel to my imagination!

    • WD40 I presume 🙂
      Second meeting with ‘sibling rivalry’ this Dverse evening.
      You think you have trouble with losing railways?
      What do you reckon you left behind?

  3. progress has that way of taking out the little places….ha…i like the coffee there…though it will def make you grow hair…lol….have sat in many a place like those….and have a few of those lots where those places use to be as well….

  4. Someone has to pay the price of “progress” and it’s never the people who make the decisions, is it? Nice storytelling – and I remember coffee like that at the Scottish Baptist College 🙂

  5. It’s so hard to describe to someone why a hole in the wall place holds such allure and charm for a person, but you did well here. Yes, there have been many little “dumps” like this in my life and I never really appreciated the depth of my fondness for them until I’d see a hastily written note on the front door saying “Thank you for your years of patronage…” Great job, Andrew.

  6. It’s sad that so many businesses have suffered from our failing economy.

  7. Such great details in this that clothe the sadness of a failed business. So glad to discover your blog, Andrew. And, above all, your great writing and ability to create a sense of place.

  8. Andrew, this is so wonderful, albeit sad. You have such a gift for lush, tasty description–What a perfect tribute to this place. Progress can be a real bitch. Thought it was funny that we both had some “wait” in our poems this week
    🙂 Thank you for the visit and comment!

  9. I enjoyed the look back on the old place, the scents and impressions by the railroad crossing. Alas the track to progress can’t be deterred but love that kick on your ending line: It’s too clean. And the coffee has no soul.

    Enjoyed this ~

  10. Remembering days past..the part that struck a chord with me…

    I thought great thoughts there.
    I decided straight-up: God loved the railroad.

  11. screwing up my courage
    to sample their outrageously strong coffee,
    thick as 10W30, hot as the devil’s arse

    Ha! That is funny.

    And the coffee has no soul.

    Great stuff.

    -sir face

  12. Just a small thing. You have no idea how it pleases me to see you have retained your devil’s arse and not ass…I guess there are some things an Englishman never forgets 🙂

  13. I love the narrative flow. This made me want to go there and lay flowers where it used to be. There is TOO much “progress”.


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