By Stuart M. Terman, M.D.
my fifth birthday,
looking outside and a world of white:
snow, snow and more snow,
filling our driveway,
the sidewalk, the sky, and our porch.
Some noise downstairs
in our small Ohio home
sounded like a small train
chugging along steel rails.
How could this be?
Out of bed,
walked down the stairs
and looked out the front window
seeing even more snow.
Father on the floor of the living room,
a Lionel train set put together;
the strong black engine leading the way,
followed by the coal car,
then two passenger cars
and the dark red caboose.
The steel rails in a large oval shape
filling the small living room,
with wires from the transformer
that guided the electricity
from the outlet to the rails,
all working perfectly,
assembled with care by the gruff,
often short-tempered ex-GI/used car dealer
who had adopted me several years earlier.
He seemed now happy to have put this together
before I got up,
and I was happy to get this unexpected gift.
I’ve liked winter ever since, and occasionally
when the yard is full of snow in January
I think of trains,
and the rough six feet four-inch step-father,
for just a brief time
was also my friend,
as we sat together on the living room floor,
smiling as the Lionel train rolled by.
Stuart M. Terman, M.D. is a physician who attended Case Western Reserve University and has been published in a number of medical, ocular and surgical publications, including EyeNet.