Showing posts with label Change of Plans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Change of Plans. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Making Tracks


I only half-remember it.

On a wet, foggy day

William’s Restaurant

paid for me to head south

to learn the secret craft of their

signature cream pies and puffy cinnamon rolls.


It was early when I left,

my dreams in cargo on Amtrak,

for two days of training

by a mom with babies at home

and bruises on her arm.


She talked fast in between

phone calls from home.


Like I said, I only half-remember it now.

The bruises, though, peep through

in dark blue and green

past chocolate-peanut butter and coconut cream

—even that night


when they put me up

in a Motel 6, clean but cheap,

where the manager, wearing a suit,

and nearly twice my age,

dropped me off lingering

and looking for something more.


I shut, and locked, the door,

turned up the fuzzy drone of news

on the too-high-on-the-wall TV,

where I slept stiffly, but out of reach

of the smell of cheap aftershave, baby powder,

and the sticky sweet

of pies and rolls I would never eat.


Next day, white apron donned,

readying flour on my hands and board,

my training abruptly abbreviated

when they apologized: 

my instructor didn’t show.


Did the mirror tell her she shouldn’t go?


I couldn’t wait to get home,

hellish honeymoon over,

dream annulled—


eighteen, and not too old

to switch trains, deciding

that would be my last stroll

through dough for dough.



© 2024 Jennifer Wagner


Shay’s Word Garden Word List

dVerse Poetics:  Traveling by Train


I have only traveled by train a few times; this was one of them.