A formidable presence…all in black,
Breath mingling in the November mist
She …a reluctant 90 years old
Pauses on the last leg of her final journey.
Her home of 73 years now eerily silent,
The comings and goings all over for her now.
Rocking backwards and forwards…
Backwards and forwards…
I hold tightly on to her.
Shivering and shuddering…
She utters one last piercing cry
And we are on our way.
I at 17… to a new life in England,
She at 90… to the railway scrap yard
Steam engine days now truly over;
She rolls “OFF THE RAILS” and into history.
On a nearby siding… silently waiting
Like an actress in the wings
Lay a span-new diesel railcar.
Sleeker and more streamlined
Than our old Iron Horse
Whose clarion call had heralded
The homecomings of 3 generations.
As one era ended another began.
After 12 years of comings and goings
SHE ..brought.. ME home on HER last trip.
Leaving LOUGHREA and…ME.…
“OFF THE RAILS”… FOREVER.