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Steve E Ralph

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Member Since: Before 2003

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Featured Book
Catch a Falling Knife
by Alan Cook

When her granddaughter's boyfriend gets accused of sexual harassment during his first teaching job, retired math professor Lillian Morgan springs to his defense...  
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Strawberry Heights
by Steve E Ralph
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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           >> View all 123

They say that he’s crazy,
They think he’s insane,
And no-body goes near him at night,
He stands on the platform,
And waits for the train,
That pulls out of Strawberry Heights,

But they closed down that station,
Two decades ago,
When the old thirty seven derailed,
His wife and children,
Were on board he knows,
But he still stands and waits for them now,

They’ve told him so often,
They’re not coming back,
His answer is always polite,
If you’ve no objection,
I’ll wait by the track,
For the train out of Strawberry Heights,

For over two decades,
He’s stood by the line,
Patiently waiting out there,
As still as a statue ,
He passes his time,
Except the wind as it ruffles his hair,

In his mind he can see them,
As they boarded the train,
He said “you be careful alright”,
They waved through the window,
As it started to rain,
On the way up to Strawberry Heights,

He recalls some-one saying,
There’s a storm blowing in,
And it looks like it’s going to be fierce,
I hope that they make it,
Before it begins,
Could be the worse one we’ve had here in years

But the storm hadn’t happened,
At least not that day,
Not as bad as they thought that it might,
He remembered his wife,
Had phoned him to say,
It was nice up at Strawberry Heights,

She phoned once more on Friday,
To say they were fine,
And to tell him what time they’d be back,
Would he get some shopping,
If he had the time,
And maybe meet them down there, at the track,

But that was the evening,
The weather turned bad,
The skies opened up and it hailed,
They say that the bridge,
Was washed out by the flood,
And the old thirty seven derailed,

It was only a small train,
That fell on it’s side,
All the passengers screaming with fright,
As it slid down the gully,
Where every-one died,
On it’s last trip from Strawberry Heights,

He just couldn’t believe,
What they said had occurred,
How could his whole family be gone,
They must be mistaken,
The whole things absurd,
Reports of the crash must be wrong,

So he waits on the platform,
For the train to arrive,
Each evening he waits there in vain,
Everyone knows that,
Nobody survived,
But he still stands and waits for the train,

Through the summer and winter,
In snow, flood or drought,
Not a day missed in twenty five years,
He was kind of a fixture,
Of that there’s no doubt,
But one evening he never appeared,

Nobody had seen him,
Although somebody laughed,
Hey, you don’t suppose, he was right,
And that old thirty seven,
Has got there at last,
From the station at Strawberry Heights,

A cold chill went through me,
I couldn’t explain,
And I’m sure that my eyes were deceived,
But there at the platform,
Was standing a train,
Where the old thirty seven should be,

The sound of the whistle,
Blew loud in the air,
Even my friends heard it blow,
We looked at the platform,
But nothing was there,
As there had been a moment ago,

Something compelled me,
To look by the track,
We found him laid out on the sand,
For the first time in years,
He was looking relaxed,
With a train ticket held in his hand,

Where the ticket had come from,
Nobody could say,
But it was held in his fingers so tight,
One single adult,
And dated today,
One way, up to Strawberry Heights.

By S.E.Ralph
15-2-2002

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Reviewed by CJ Heck
This is wonderful, Steve -- I am a fan already. I love your writing.
My warmest regards,
CJ
Reviewed by Kay P Devenish
I loved this the first time I read it and I still love it.
An awesome poem Steve,it touches the heart all the way through but the end especially warms mine,beautiful ending!
Best wishes always to you and yours
from
kay.
Reviewed by Susan de Vegter
You've penned a woderful poem of tender,rare emotions, dedication and patience. All good things come to those who wait.This wll be a favorite to save and read again and again.
Susan
Reviewed by George Carroll
Losing those that you love, like in this tragedy, is a bitter pill to swallow and some never recover but like the ticket he was holding it shows they can be together again for what is lost in this life is reclaimed in the next.
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