When I was young the train would pass

And I’d be told, at once, to stay away.

All these years later, I built one of my own –

On the billiard table, with my boys, before they’d grown.

 

When I was young, the TV would be on

And he’d sit there so that no-one else could see

The screen – ‘twas only small,

At a time when radio was almost all

 

The entertainment we could get at home –

So TV was a novelty, of sorts.

Like a child’s first puppy –

Another thing for which I’d have to wait

‘til adulthood to enjoy – almost too late.

 

I looked over my fence and saw the

Unused railroad, as the flame tree grew

Its first red leaves today.

The ‘road reminded me – of what I once knew

Of a childhood spent so far away

In a house with little, willingly, to share.

I had no reason but my youth for living there.

 

The flame tree divides the present from the past

As I go and open ornaments for home

‘Christmas lights’, one box says – but, lo and behold,

Inside I found a village, with a moving railroad.

 

I turned the switch, and all I saw

Was my childhood, sitting there before

My very eyes. I felt bewilderment, I felt surprise,

At what I had made since then –

A train on a moving railroad, that all of us enjoyed.

I’d built it on the billiard table – growing, with my boys.