Left my legacy
In Skagway via
Three trains that I beat running
Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.
Notes to this poem…
I found this poem in a coat pocket after posting the other ones so it will be the last of the Cruise Poem collection online, but it wasn’t really the last poem written. I’m guessing I wrote it on Sept 4th, not 8th, but I can’t remember for sure. Too many poems written in a short time. But since it appears last on this list, I’ll put it as the 8th for proper chronological and numerical order.
On my run in Skagway, I ran out of town along the train tracks. Less than a couple of miles out, I heard a tourist train whistle and knew I had to take on the train in a race. I only had about a half mile before the pavement ended and I’d have to trepass on to private property so I knew I could really put in a good pace for however fast the train was running.
Sure enough, when the train got close, I waived the driver as he passed, and passengers in a few cars. The later ones had seen me waiving so I caught their eyes before they got to me. That was when I flicked my head and eyebrows suggesting a race. Then I took off with them and the race was on!
I don’t know how long they thought I might hang on, but after a minute, I found out I had some extra speed and could start getting ahead of them, so I did. It was just like the racing scene from the old Superman movie!
I had enough speed in me that I eventually made my way to the front of the train to wave to the engineer. He wasn’t shocked by the time I got there, though, cause he had seen me in what looked like a rear view mirror he had. But he was shaking his head, lol.
I passed him with about a half a minute to spare before running out of space and waiving goodbye to everybody in the train as they went past. After that, I just jogged back out along the same path, smiling with the greatest of satisfaction… until I heard another train whistle at near where I heard the first one. I had recovered enough by then and pulled the same stunt again!
More enjoyable was this second run out than the first, when I heard a third train whistle. These were the tourist trains that had ran out of Skagway. So I repeated the run for yet a third time and won again!
Three of these were enough for me for that day, though. I was fighting off a slight cold and had ran more this week than I had for over a year, playing tennis most of my summer and running to do a “grand tour on foot” in all the cruise ports. I turned around at the end point to run back into town when, much to my surprise, I was stopped a train crossing. It was that last train, which must have had to slow down for some reason! Well, it was fun to see them again, at a slower speed. 🙂
Once the gate lifted, though, I knew where they were heading and took the road in town to race them to the end of the line in a virtual tie. I caught them and kept with them near the end of the train, but as they slowed, I crept up to the front for one final hello and goodbye with the passengers. Some of them, as well as some on the other trains, will be talking about me for a while in telling stories from their cruise, I’m sure! 🙂
p.s. A subtle play on words. Canada has a train line called Via, which I sneaked into the poem instead of using some other words in its place when talking about the train. 🙂
These cruise poems were written on my first ever cruise between September 2nd and 9th, from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver, British Columbia. Most were written at night on my limited down time from family, in the dark of the Helideck at the front of the ship, often alone beneath the night skies of Alaska.