The Train Ride

He on his train

Me on mine

Same track

Same destination

One hundred fourteen years later-

He was 15 and like his brother and cousin

Braved the ocean passage from the north side of the island

to the dirt streets and crowded immigration buildings of Ellis Island

The hard part still awaited him

The years working at the rail yards-

Carrying a meager sandwich, a partial bottle of wine and an ever present switchblade in his boot that he used for more than cutting apples grabbed from trees along the way

This rough place where boys- almost men – spoke languages foreign even to the foreigners

Working, sweating, laughing, fighting

Finding their way to gathering enough to dare a dream of a home and family

To imagine the unknown future sons who would one day bring the rest of us into this world

Like me-

Moving now on this same track

Also Chicago bound

And imagining an unknown future grandchild who may cover this same ground

In a distinct future

With her own dreams held like this journal

Filled with the promise of more

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