Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Child's Play  

"i'm running away from home
you can't stop me"
and so my journey begins

lucky for me
tracks run through our town
every day ... three freight ... one passenger
oh, i've counted 'em

those tracks where my school chum
vernon higgins died, he was only eight 

i think about him 
as i grab hold, jump aboard
no mean feat for a nine-year old
let me tell you

i do have a plan
figure three weeks is plenty long 
for them to come to their senses


  1. First... I was absorbed into the photo for quite a while. I will have to check out the sight. Second... 8? Dear God, how tragic.

    And your poem... just love it, especially the cheeky last stanza. Yes, you have always been a spitfire ;)

  2. This is really tragic ... a haunting memory indeed !!!

  3. Ha, Helen,I must have been one of the few kids who never plotted to run away. I enjoyed this though, as it rang so true to what children would say....and yes, three weeks would certainly be enough. (That must have been awful to lose your friend on the train tracks....)

  4. Oh, that would be awful to lose a friend that way, that young. The rest was such fin though. Running away is always fun to plot, even as an adult...LOL

  5. Made me remember when I told my mom I was running away when I was eight and she said "wait, and I'll go with you!" Hee hee. Pretty scary thinking of such young children around the tracks, and the little boy dying so young.

  6. oh my... a nine year old....jumping a train...that is crazy....we were a few years older when we jumped one....its a beast to get off of...just a few weeks...hope that worked out as i would be afraid of what the kid might find out there...

    1. .. good thing it's all make believe (except for the my friend Vernon part)

  7. tragic for Vernon yes, that runaway thing we all thought about, wonder would that work today how long before they come to their senses.... :)

  8. Sad about the boy, but I really like the bluesy feel to this.

  9. Hi, Helen, I was happy to see the note you left at my blog. Love the poem as it summons so many emotions. It does feel bluesy, as if it could be set to music. Merry Christmas!

  10. Helen, first I am always happy to come to your site to see those beautiful iron horses at the top of your blog. And I guess this poem is about catching another kind of iron horse. Your poem captured me and held my interest throughout with additions of information.

  11. How tragic to lose a friend that young. Sad, but a touching memory.

  12. Such a compelling mix of childish memory, hope and playfulness, plus great sadness. Irresistable.

  13. My heart breaks for your friend and what his family went through.

  14. As a child it felt so important. As a parent is so terrifying

  15. Moving and evocative and perfectly sustained in its tone. What a memorable work this is! Beautifully composed and presented!

  16. Well done Helen!! Perfectly channeled that childhood sense of fear/adventure and rationale...:-)