All Aboard

The little children boarded the train
Nervous, first time on one, and
Away from their parents…
The oldest was eight, the leader
Excited and afraid, at the same time
Anxiously looking out the windows
So much to take in, and then,
Without warning, the train moved,
Causing the children to smile, and
Hold each other’s arms, slowly,
It started picking up speed
The children watched in amazement
Clickety-clack, clickity-clack,
The iron-horse, rocked back and forth
Reminding them of being rocked
In mother’s arms, not long ago
Daylight faded to darkness, and
Then the train slowed down, and
Came to a stop! The conductor,
Came and said for the children
To get ready to detrain!
They had reached their destination: Lejac!
Cautiously, the children got off, and
Stood beside a man, dressed in a black suit
Holding a lamp, he was a priest. Then,
The train departed, blowing its whistle,
Sounding out a warning, they will never forget
The oldest child, stood in the darkness and
Looked at the foreboding building, as
The priest, led them to the residential school
Their lives changed for the worst, from that moment on
Eight long years of abuse of every kind
A place of pain, not peace
62 years later, I still hear the cries of children, he said
There was no love at this place, little did I know,
My childhood innocence left with that night train
Reminded every time a train blew its whistle
I wonder if the conductor took good care of my soul…?

Charles has been a social activist for 35 years. He can be reached at :>. Read other articles by Charles.