The Call of the Whistle Blow

by Willow

There was a rumbling;
a moving of the earth.
The pent up longing
of the heart sprung free.
I wanted to stand
on the railroad tracks,
feel the motion of the wheels
get closer to me.

Not to die; oh no–
don’t get me wrong,
it was not suicide
I contemplated;
just the rhythm, the moving,
inexorable wheel-spin,
jump on the box-car, free fall,
go far.

Just travel, and, yet
I watch it pass.
Until the call was half-heard;
A whispered word, an unfinished letter;
I could have touched the side
of the box car
it was that close…

©Willow Rose 2011

9 thoughts on “The Call of the Whistle Blow by Willow Rose

    • Thank you very much Ron; this poem is me and I have never been able to publish it or even try as it brings to life that elemental loneliness it seems I will ride to the end of the tracks. I showed it to a doctor once and was Baker Acted for being suicidal; your words make it all worthwhile. Almost! I did change some of the wording while trying to keep you enthralled. Thank you again for getting to that “soft underbelly.”

  1. Oh, Willow, your heartspoken, no, deeper than that, soul-felt words have awakened within me a long forgotten childhood memory! Until I was about 6 years old, my family lived on a little farm outside of Eugene, Oregon. Each night, as I lay in my bed, I would hear the train whistles blow as they wound their way through the closeby mountains. It is a lonely, haunting sound that one never forgets. Ai also grew up on my grandmother’s stories of hobos…yup, real boxcar -riding hobos! But that’a another story 😉
    Gorgeous poem, my friend!

  2. “There was a rumbling;
    a moving of the earth.
    The pent up longing
    of the heart sprung free.”

    I could feel it getting closer. . .loved the free feel of this one with the imminent threat of danger.

    • Thank you for your perceptive and heart-felt response; I think you know exactly that adrenaline fueled, anything possible feeling pamanner! Little did I know how close the imminent danger was, however; when I showed it to a doctor as an affirmation of being a free spirit she took it as a possible suicide thought and I almost ended up with no shoelaces and a door locked on the other side. I had to change it; and learned to keep my yearnings to myself. Unless sharing with a poet. Thank you!

    • Thank you dear Autumn Eliza; you are an inspiration to me as I want to share this sort of feedback with other writers; it is so fulfilling! There has always been that picture in my mind of jumping in a box car and going wherever the train was headed. There are few things more haunting than that shrill whistle from a train in the middle of the night. Lonely and haunting it awakens something elemental inside me. I’ll always love it.


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