I still remember the gush of cool air on my face and the smoky smell of burning charcoal as the train shunted off. The platform slid out of sight giving way to open rail yards strewn with gigantic metal beams. The city would make a brief appearance before melting into acres of green farmland interspersed with little towns from where kids would wave to us as the train sped past them.
I remember the days when Mama sang this to me, only to me. My throat was tight when I heard her singing the same song to Alfie, my little brother. He appeared unexpectedly after Mama and Dad went to the hospital one day. I was dropped off at Gram’s place. Her house smelled like naphthalene balls and Nilla wafers.
There’s an anger, a restlessness about you. You’re carrying scars from your childhood, perhaps. I see you in pigtails laying flowers on your mother’s grave on a winter morning. You’re wondering to yourself why Dad is crying and where Mom went. Or did your dad leave you when you were a child? Mom cried every time you asked her when dad would be back and you didn’t know why.