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Took a trip on the "El Capitan"

Story ID:6029
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA USA
Year:1978
Person:miserable Chelsea Kansas Kid
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Took a trip on the "El Capitan"

Took a trip on the “El Capitan”

Back in Nineteen Seventy Eight
Thoughts of home, through my mind ran
I went to Fullerton California to catch a train
Called the “El Capitan”

After Shirley packed my bag
She took me to the railroad station
I ran to get my ticket and
I picked up my reservation

My seat was one row back
From the front of the Car
Put up my luggage
I looked for the bar

In came a small black girl
Followed by her little brother
Pulling two giant suit cases
And behind them their mother.

A frail black lady with a baby
Sat down next to me
I was surrounded
By the whole family.

My thoughts of peace
On the trip to the midwest
Was shattered completely
But I’d try my best to stand the test.

A crying baby, two little kids,
There was no empty seat
For me to seek
I was trapped and admitted defeat.

The baby started crying,
I was ready to throttle
The young girl took him
Changed him and gave him a bottle.

After the feeding
He fell fast asleep
And out of him
I never heard another little peep.

I headed to the diner
To check out their fare
And I ended up
Eating there.

Back from the diner
The kids were all dressed
In their pajamas
They lay down to rest.

The mother
Sitting next to me
Had some papers
She wanted me to see.

Savannah her eight year old child
In the front seat
Had done some drawings
That I thought were pretty neat.

Savannah over heard
What I had said
About her drawings
While she was abed.

I eased my false judgement
Of this whole family
I had been wrong
With my mindless thoughts of misery

The next morning I went into the bathroom
To wash and to shave
The young boy followed me in
I told him he had to leave.

With the door wide open
He would not go
I said O.K, you can stay
But you stand by the door

He watched me like a hawk
Every shaving motion
Got a smile on his face
When I put on some shaving lotion.

Still wet with lotion
I patted his cheek
He walked over to his mother
Of lotion he did reek

His mother said
You smell so sweet
The young boy grinned from ear to ear
But he didn’t speak.

They were going to Chicago `
Their daddy to see
He is in the Navy
Savannah’s mother said to me

She had bought Savannah a Yellow Dress
With shoes to match, to dress up
Got a new suit for the boy
When with their Dad they met up

Savannah whispered to her mom
Something I could not hear
Her mom asked me
If my departure time was near

I said after breakfast
About seven thirty five
I would get to Wichita
That’s the time I should arrive

After breakfast I returned
There In her Yellow Dress
Was Savannah smiling so prettily
Why’s Savannah in her yellow dress?

She wanted to say good bye
Her mom said, it’s for you
You were so nice, to all of us
The whole trip through.

I often wondered what, ever happened
To that terrific family
As I said good bye I had a tear in my eye
And departed hastily.

I saw Savannah looking out the window
The train pulled for all parts East
She blew a little kiss
To me a humble beast

This story goes to show
How wrong you can be
When you make a quick decision
Containing Bigotry.


Monte Manka-5-1-2006