Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Insatiable Longing of Wanderlust


I was raised on trains
My first two years
And learned to walk
To the sway and bounce
Of the railroad cars,
Chasing my father
From base to base
Across the war.

My childhood home
Was within the sound
Of the Doppler howl
Of diesel trains
Racing across
The lonely prairie
Through eerie night
Of small town '50s.

My present home
Is within the sound
Of the diesel trains
Of another town.
It's strange somehow
That through the storms
Of all these years
That brought us up
From cloth-winged planes
To space ship flights,
A child can still
Lie awake
In the eerie night
And hear the trains.

copyright Angela Parson Myers 2011


  1. I am an army brat of a different variety: my dad got sent to D.C. during Desert Storm with the chance that he would have to go out and fight. Luckily we got him back. My dad never had to have us move from place to place while being in the army and for that I'm really thankful.

  2. I like this very much! I have almost zero wanderlust, but train whistles do have a somewhat haunting call, even for me.

  3. Trains...please visit my home town page...Durand, Michigan...and check out our beautiful depot as well as maybe read a little of our train history. You might enjoy it.

    I always think of Johnny Cash when I think of or hear a distant train whistle (which I hear in the evenings from inside my house). He sang of the sound making him yearn to go a little further down the line.

    Love trains. Love this post. <3

  4. I live a couple of blocks away from the tracks myself, always like it when the weather is cool enough to open the windows and hear the trains go by.

  5. Jo, I looked up the depot in Durand. It is indeed beautiful--a unique building. I'm going to look again to check out the history.

    Awwsumkitteh, I don't remember any of my travels, of course. But I have a theory that the things you do before age 2 or 3 shape your personality enormously even if you can't remember. My husband spent his childhood on a farm and still feels a real connection not just to the land, but to that particular land. I don't feel a connection even to the small town where I lived from age 2 to 18. Interestingly, during those 2 vagabond years the only constants were my mother and the books she carried to entertain me.
    And I do think train whistles affect everyone at least a little.

  6. Angela, you are magic. I loved this! For me, trains have always had a depressing feel - probably because I watch too many movies and most of the time, when someone is leaving on a train, there's always that sad wave from the person they love at the train station. And then the beloved person and the train station gets smaller and smaller...

  7. Amazing post about the longing of the open road and adventure!!