First Train Ride


 The Train Ride 

When I was young, when the outside 

world assailed me on my first train trip to Boston, 

I knelt on the seat to look out the window, frightened 

at the squeals when the elevated train turned

on curves, and again when sparks flew red in the black 

tunnels.  My parents both were oblivious to my fears, 

They smiled a lot at each other as if I weren’t there

between them on the seat, going God only knew where.

They explained we were going to the Jeweler’s building. 

When the train stopped Dad carried me up a flight 

of dark stairs. We had arrived in Boston 

On the street, everything was grey and busy.  

We walked to a tall building and went into

an elevator-as if the train ride hadn’t been enough.

Dad reached down to me, saying here, hold my hand.

We walked into a small shop where a tall old man 

greeted us, and said to my parents, “I have it ready for you

He handed them a small package, and they talked together.

I was forgotten. The old jeweler observed me and

handed me a package, too.  This is a gift for you. 

It was a packet of silver charms.

 I thought they were a gift to the fairies. He said no, 

you bake them inside your birthday cake, whoever 

got one would get a wish.  Mom put it inside her bag 

for the trip back home, and it was put away until

my birthday cake was made. I remember how happy

my cousin Vicky was to find a charm in her cake. 

The old man gave me a strange gift; something lovely

and perfect, that I in turn had to give away to others. 

The memory of the gift remains, as does the idea of leaving gifts 

now and then for others, and how happy Vickie was.

Elaine Reardon



About elainereardon

Writer, forest dweller, gardener, herbalist, and painter, often bumping into magic, peeking around new corners.
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6 Responses to First Train Ride

  1. Evelyn Dunphy says:

    Lovely, Elaine. And what a poignant memory of a train ride. xoxo Evelyn



  2. Joy Kaubin says:

    Very sweet, Elaine. Thanks! Joy


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