When I was small, we took the train, my mom and I,
to shop in that neighboring town.
Restless I sat on scratchy seats, squirming anticipation,
Till at last we started from the station…
or so I thought!
“No,” she said. “We aren’t moving.
It only looks that way.
It’s the train beside us.”
I’ve sat by moving objects since that time,
and, watching out my sooty window,
misperceived a journey launch that wasn’t mine,
more than once.
When it’s real you’ll know it.
You’ll see the shacks and bouldered hills go rushing by,
the sun come ’long, right by you, companion all the way,
and heaven a backdrop to it all, roiling clouds a-washing color over blue,
making movement of its own,
with more surprises than the weatherman could guess.
You’ll feel the clack beneath your seat, thump-thumping,
as scenes grow unfamiliar.
Of your speed, your ETA, you may have no idea,
or where “Next stop…” will land you.
But you’ll know that it’s your journey, and you’ll know that it is real.
In a world of growing mediocrity,
where qualities like honesty, integrity, kindness, grace,
keep sliding backward, down,
it’s easy to think you’re progressing when in fact you’re standing stalled
or maybe even drifting back a bit yourself.
Accurate assessment of advancing locomotion
doesn’t come from gazing
at back-slidings on the sidings.
Others’ life-tracks, side trips, derails, rarely give us true sense
of where this journey of our own must head
and if we’re traveling full-speed, in the right direction.
What we think we see is oft but mere illusion.
(My apologies. I seem to be on a poetry kick! Next time, prose, I promise.)