The Lonesome Train Whistle

A moment of sweet reflection came to me – just wanted to share it with you.

My wonderful grandfather was a section foreman on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad line. In youth I lived for awhile in the old gray two-story section house with my grandparents. The house was no more than a hundred yards from the railroad tracks. Lying in bed each night as the train whistle blew in the distance, my mind would consider where it could be my life was leading me.

The sound of the train whistle has always brought to me an inscrutable soft sadness.

Hope you enjoy the reflection…

The Lonesome Train Whistle


It always came during the night

as mind was most vulnerable,

as fancy replaced reality.

It came and brought tears

of truths that were days

of poignant youth.

It came whispering of all

dreams yet possible to heal

pangs of longing.

It came on evening’s air,

took me to a place

ordained for me to go.

Its long mournful wail

lingered long and tender

like a mother’s feathery kiss.

The sound echoed long, its final

note lost in space

not known by me,

And my days would be softly

blessed in the verity

of those splendid sounds,

That, indeed, life was yet

to be out there on the

lonesome train’s whistle.

BRC – 12/12/2003

Please follow me on Twitter (@brchitwood) (my books) (my blog) (my main website/blog/reviews)

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10 thoughts on “The Lonesome Train Whistle

  1. I have to say I love the sound of a train passing in the night, carriage windows lit up and people going somewhere. Then again we also lived across from a shunting yard for a year, the only peace we got at night was on weekends. Great piece though Billy.


      1. The empty coal wagons hurtling along half a mile of track, then banging against the big bumpers at the other end, BONG! Other than that you got used to it. A Merry Xmas to you and yours Billy Ray.


    1. Thanks, Jo, for the nomination — you honor me… I’m working on my 12th book and trying to keep up with the social network activities so I shall pass on all the requirements needed to receive the reward… just not enough time in the day. Again, much thanks for thinking of me. Best wishes – Billy Ray


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