Abandoned Tracks

I wrote this piece last spring and it came to mind today as I walked an abandoned track near my home. I don’t know about you, but I wish these trains were still running. I’ve seen too many of my students become runaway trains–lost in life or truly lost, and I always wonder, what else can I do to help them stay on track? I try to remember what kept me on track…


Walking the rickety tracks
afternoons swigged
like orange and vodkas,
collecting coins for cigarette machines,
fascinated by foreign things.

We were the only puffs along
that steely path.
Just like weeds
we kept growing in the crevices,
merging our lies,
the unused lines
of broken-down trains.

We were only kids,
in corduroy bell-bottoms
and babydoll tees,
but we fast-tracked
grape concord
tying it to our legs,
skipping school
along with the slates.

Hotboxing happiness,
mostly to misbehave.
It’s amazing we made it anywhere
after walking abandoned tracks.

Silver Line-Williamsburg, Virginia Source: Flickr

Soul Asylum “Runaway Train”

25 Comments

  1. This was such a beautiful piece filled with vivid imagery, K! 😊 The loose change, corduroy bell-bottoms and skipping along the tracks – perfect balance of bittersweet nostalgia and wistful regret of the different paths we take ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for these thoughtful comments, Tom. Those memories seem close on days like today, like a wrinkle in time’s fabric and in a blink I’d be back there again. It was a wild time but one that felt so much lighter than now.💜

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I adore the language in this write and the overall feel of it, K. It reminds me of skipping school as a youth, and, well, doing things off the tracks. I appreciate this write. It reminds me to be grateful for all the people that helped me stay on the tracks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jeff. I appreciate you connecting with this piece, and I feel the same. Many of my teachers,actually,really bolstered my self confidence along the way and opened my mind to new ideas of the universe without and within.💜

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, K. Always. This is also true for me. I’ve had so many people, past and present, that have guided me, helped shape me, I feel blessed every day. 💜

        Liked by 1 person

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