No Turning Back
"Bye son," they say, watching as I board the train.
Their faces mirror words I'd often heard.
"You're the first in the family to go off to college.
I sit by the window, smiling, waving. The wheels
roll, the whistle blows. Their faces disappear.
My stomach gyrates like a jelly jar packed full
of grasshoppers. Farm scenes fly past like
newsreel photos. at the Saturday matinee.
I start wondering how Dad will handle the butcher
shop without me lifting, sweeping, packing food
on all the shelves. I remember how Dad worked
late hours and how Mom sewed my suits from
Grandpa,s old clothes. Thoughts coil through
my head like raw beef in the grinder. Would Dad
think of me as he rolled roasts, cut up chickens,
sliced bologna, visited with the town folks?
I pictured my steamer trunk in the baggage car
filled with my clothes, my varsity letter sweater,
my baseball and bat, my perfumed note from
Sara Jane. I have this dream to teach and coach.
At sunset the train whistles to a stop. Dust
clouds billow as I step off the train. While waiting
for the bus to campus, I let out a sigh as I
realize, there is no turning back.