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Point of Interest

 

We stopped to see the trains today

my son, daughter, husband, me   trains

are your heritage we tell them and stop

each time we see a sign

We tell them they should be proud, ask if

they remember Romeo, Juliet, Othello, Coquihalla,

if they remember those signs

that marked the water stops

on the old

Kettle Valley Railway

 

We have the original signs

hand-painted

black

on

grey

we tell them

great great grandfather

named the stops

 

They fidget

look hard down the long

run of pavement willing Vancouver

to rise in the horizon

They ask,

are we almost there, dad?

 

We stopped to see the trains today

long and shiny, steeling

through mountain cuts, hugging

sides appearing disappearing

never the same trains except

in my imagination like

an ill-fated lover

 

Today we counted the cars until

they disappeared behind

another hill around

another curve

iron wheels going places

rubber never could

until today

 

The Coquihalla Highway follows

the old Kettle Valley Railway

and all along its pavement

marking the location of

the old trains’ water stops

are small wooden plaques that promise

 

– Point of Interest –

 

And those original

Kettle Valley Railway signs

marking water stops marking

our family’s heritage

rest proudly

 

in our basement

on the pile of siding

behind the extra bats of insulation

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