How many years has it been since I've heard, 'All Aboard'?
Countryside pictures flash almost too fast to capture
That silhouette of a dead oak tree laying its shadow across
burnt rolling hills of summer, errant mustard clumps wave as
we pass, lazing cows chewing last of the green stubble,
fence posts string necklaces around homesteads, hillsides--a lattice of
grape arms, tendrils wrapped about, reaching to secure ripening jewels.
Sea stretches its white foam fingers finding feeling free, deeply
drenching soft sandy spots, retreating, returning, retreating, returning,
crushing coastline, creating craters, posting sprays, rainbows,
small boy with dragon kite braving beach's barnacles past blankets
boasting bathing beauties, cliffs climb, crumbling sand topped with cap of sea
grass, bend after bend of beauty, careening northward hugging California coast,
now blending into vast wetlands shimmering with birds, now emerald fields
Hillsides dotted with coastal oaks, then a forest of them, then rock-faced cliffs
mounted by telephone poles, a row of cypress winds along a road leading to a
terracotta colored rancho, horse corrals dissect landscape, their inhabitants
cluster under trees, swishing tails against swarms of warm weather flies.
Gift of not driving, tracks embracing southern coast, while mountains tower
craggy or hills roll gently, trading spring green for golden straw glistening
in sun's descent
Quaint stations punctuate route, sound of whistle, clang of crossing alarms,
kids waving, backyard with rusted out car, broken down fences, junkyard, family
gardens drying, ghosts of barns peeling, basketball hoop without webbing standing on
a post, roadside memorial fresh with flowers and grief, ancient cemetery with
old-fashioned tombstones, abandoned water tank's corroding roof, old adobe mission walls
askew, a meandering stream choked with broken limbs and rotting leaves,
watching passing scenes, reminders of transitory nature of life
© 2013 by Linda Golden.
Used with the author's permission.