Guadalajara: Trains

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An early morning train rumbles through Colonia Juan Manuel Vallarta


My little brother and I move stealthily toward the railroad tracks behind our great-grandmother’s house. We hope no one is watching.
No fence separates Grandma’s backyard from the tracks. Our parents have warned us of the danger, and have forbidden us to go there.
We are clutching pennies that we plan to put on the track to be flattened by the passing train. My little brother’s friend came to school one day and pulled a flattened penny from his pocket at show-and-tell time. The friend told how the penny was crushed, and we want to repeat his exploits.
We are almost at the tracks. We can hear a train whistle blowing in the distance. We run the last few feet, stoop to place our pennies on one rail, and then beat a hasty retreat.
After the train passes, we scramble back to the track to reclaim our transformed treasures, our parents none the wiser.
This childhood escapade comes to mind as trains rumble day and night through our neighborhood in Colonia Juan Manuel Vallarta.

early morning train—
the cat on grandmother’s porch
curls a bit tighter


Text and photo © 2016 by Mark M. Redfearn, all rights reserved


10 responses »

  1. love hearing this story- I was reminiscing about sitting on my grandparents’ front porch with my grandpa just yesterday. He’d entertain me with sounds of a train (not the diesel, of course)>

  2. I LOVE this Mark! Are you creating stories, reminiscing, or really there? I read Tijuana and will read more. I love short stories. Perfect haiku too!

  3. A great story Mark. I did the same thing as a kid. My sister and I would leave our pennies on the tracks behind the old Italian winery that my dad was helping to bring back to life. It was as if we had witnessed magic of some sort holding those shiny paper-thin oblong disks in our little hands…

  4. I LOVED reading this Mark. I love short stories. Are you creating these, or are they memories, or are you actually there? I read Tijuana also, and will read more. Perfect haiku too.

  5. I remember doing this as a child. Sometimes the penny would vibrate off the track and not get smashed. Plenty of trains passed through the town. I didn’t have to wait long for another try. Love your haiku too.

  6. I am back Mark, after reading more. I had no idea you were teaching or that you are in Mexico. I just came from your 2011 post where you sat in the park on a bench, and just let yourself “be”. Thank you for finally allowing me to find these wonderful moments. I am so pleased to share your thoughts and adventures. So much more than just a Friday haiku, although your haiku writings are stories in themselves.

  7. poetic mexico-thank you for arriving as welcome as each childhood memory you have stirred in our hearts. please keep that whistle of travel tales arriving. your voice is a perfect destination!

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