Saturday, September 17, 2011

(urinary track)

to the train
all aboard
get on board
get on board
for the ride
to remember
you’ll remember
this train


he swore to the conductor
we ten were under twelve
discount for having so many, so close
let dad do the talking
clackity clack
don’t talk back
smile, be polite
say thank you
yes sir

before long
we owned that train
bar car
dining car
sleeping car
running down the aisle
playing hide and seek
making lovers squirm
in their dirty looks
wishing they were on any. other. train.

‘til one of us stopped
to catch a breath of fresh air
at the joint between cars
then we all did
right there
and that’s where we stayed
for the rest of the trip
stuck our heads outside
leaning out over the gate
as far as we could reach
reaching, stretching
without falling
'No falling!'
(as though another new rule would deem it so)
wind blowing our hair
blue sky
sunshine on our faces
and the rain
the rain
the cool, wet rain
sprinkling our faces
in sunshine
by the end
mother wondered why our hair was wet
shirts damp
the look of  horror on her face
was beyond understanding
as we begged
for her to join our joy
in our tale to tell
of being rained on in sunshine
looking for rainbows

'that was no rain'
she exclaimed
jaw clenched
low hushed
matter of fact
disgusted still
madly digging for a hanky



train engines hissin’
train track pissin’
clackity clack
urinary track

rhythm of the rail
hear momma wail
clackity clack
urinary track

clackity clack
urinary track
don’t hold back

go baby... go...

Patricia Spreng
Yes, this really happened.  In 1968, my parents took all 10 of us kids on a train ride to Taqhaumenon Falls in the upper peninsula of Michigan. We were having such fun, until we saw our mom's face.  My dad wanted to throw us all into the Falls.  Apparently, we all survived.  We still laugh about it. The minute Claudia mentioned "trains,"  this was the first and only story that came to mind.  =)   Submitted to d’Verse Poetics tonight where Claudia is asking for stories about trains.  Click here on d’Verse Poetics to read more train stories by the wonderful world of poets

Also skipping over to double dutch with Deidra and sharing laughter at Jumping Tandem, one of the marvelous places I've found through
The High Calling.  (I'm getting loopy from linking.)


  1. omg. what an experience.

  2. What a mix of experiences (and metaphors)!

    Some 25 years ago, I took a train trip from St. Louis to Marshall, Texas, with my then 4-year-old. He was absolutely fascinated with the bathroom facilities. I wasn't. Your poem reminded me of wht I wasn't.

    Good poem, Patricia.

  3. ewwwww...i have to go take a shower now...haha...this was a trip for sure patricia...smiles.

  4. Hahaha. What a roller coaster of an experience, this. Great poem.

  5. hahahaha just another reason why I avoid public bathrooms, on a train or otherwise, nice trip down the urinary track, or should I say dirty trip..haha

  6. Fun memory.... I enjoyed the toilet er...train ride ~

  7. LOVE this - you should join it to Deidra's invitation for posts on laughter. This one is GREAT for a laugh!

  8. haha - now we were on the same track....LOL - enjoyed this a lot patricia...and so true...the kids own the trains of this world...

  9. Blech (thanks for the warning at the top, I was taken into nostalgic recollection until I was rudely awakened along will all y'all).

  10. Brilliant! And that really happened? What a memory! I am laughing out loud. So grateful to you for linking up. So very grateful - and pleased as punch to meet you!

  11. That is just too funny, Patricia. Disgusting, but hilarious...and very creative in the telling. =)

  12. Oh, you!

    This is great.

    Such crazy fun ... And that laughter-therapy Deidra was talking about? I'm having a case of it RIGHT HERE.

    So glad you're participating in THC's writing project.

  13. Enjoyed this, Patricia...I love your voice, your style. My only question- what happened next?


  14. wow...what an experience...masterfully retold :)

  15. Patricia, what a fun story! I just laughed through it and then read it out loud to my wife and laughed some more. Thank you.

  16. I can not even imagine! I can't even think about this from the eyes of a child. I can only imagine the feeling of horror your mother must have had!! Did she ever laugh about it?

  17. Loved this! I could picture you every step of this journey and had to laugh out loud at the end!

  18. With 10 kids, my mother had no better option than to laugh. I'm glad she chose laughter. She was still humorous, even on her death bed at 89 years old. =) She loved Erma Bombeck!

  19. Oh. My. Goodness. I'm trying to imagine my kids doing this! Ahhhh! :) Visiting from Deidra's.

  20. Hello Patricia. What a story! I can't imagine having 10 kids! 3 about run me crazy!!
    I, too, loved Erma Bombeck.


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