From afar I knew her at school,
We talked once or twice,
She was a beauty you see.
Having a boyfriend elsewhere.
Came our Senior All Night Party,
Planned out all very cool.
After an afternoon Graduation,
Our entire class of several hundred
Embarked on a private train,
Eight passenger cars,
An Engine and caboose.
All Just for us.
As a class officer I was in the entry car,
Handing out handshakes to the guys,
And goodby kisses to the girls,
(One last chance to flirt.)
Until she, the leggy blond came along.
That kiss was not fleeting, not congratulatory,
If was mutually passionate and assuredly sincere.
It took my breath away, she tasted of lipstick
And honey, sweet as can be.
Minutes later we found ourselves
In a compartment, mostly alone,
Stayed there though out the,
90 mile train excursion,
Discovering each other as
Young Lovers should.
Just kissing until our lips hurt,
And I felt like I might explode.
This beautiful long legged girl,
And I, fogging the windows up,
All Fireworks and night flares,
Like a steamy magic act on the rails.
Other people came and went,
But we hardly took notice of them.
Lost in a little world of our own.
We reached Oakland,
Departed the train,
Went aboard a three level,
Red Line Cruse Boat
And sailed away.
Two bands, music,
And just a little *****,
High on kisses, Royal Crown,
Jack Denials’ Black Label.
All night on the Bay water,
A little dancing too, as I recall.
Then back at the Pier by six.
Breakfast and return train trip.
Somewhere along the way,
We lost track of each other,
Too many people,
All moving and shoving,
Friends pulling us in different direction,
Too tired to protest I guess.
I found a place to fall asleep and did.
And just like that it was over.
The next day and for years,
It all seemed like a dream.
How does that happen?
What had we both been feeling
For those four school years,
But had never expressed,
To ourselves or each other,
That put us together on that journey,
Of Steel Tracks and Water Adrift?
During those years,
What passions had we stifled,
All for lack of opportunity?
Both dating other people,
Busy moving blindly through adolescents,
As kids will do, with no real clue.
After the train ride,
That ship on the Bay,
It was off to college,
And new friends with which to play,
Events and time took over, and
We both went our own ways.
For the first time, since that night,
I saw her some weeks ago.
And she still looks the same.
It’s been many years,
But she has not changed.
Lovely as ever and still my friend.
Both of us laughed as we talked,
Fondly recalled that night on the train.
She now a widow and me on my own.
Living 600 miles apart,
We email back and forth,
Pen Pals we tell ourselves,
And each other.
What was I thinking?
Back in those days.
How did I let her get away?
I suppose “Stuff” and something,
Called Life merely got in the way.
Now every day,
The first thing I do,
After I let out the dogs,
And brew a cup of Joe,
Is open my Email files,
To see if she is there.
So pleased when she is,
A little sad when she’s not.
For CJ my friend.