The trains engine is sending clouds of steam that is fascinating her
young son as he blows his breath in the cold winters morning, he gleefully
tells her, he too is a choo-choo train. The young mother gets on the train to a
destination that is not of her choosing, two of her children are at her side, and
the baby is cradled in her arms. As the train rocks back and forth she hopes
the child will stop crying and the pain in the baby's ear will go away.
She rocks and sings a lullaby hoping he will at last fall asleep but even
the nourishment of her milk does not quit him. A young man in uniform
sitting across from her senses she is in need of some help, when he nears her
they both recognize each other from high school and start a conversation. He
is on his way to Korea. He has been drafted to fight in the CONFLICT. They
agree the word is to distract the nation from the word War. They both as
young children lived through WWll remembering the casualty of her brother
and that this was to be the war to end all wars. They reminisce about their
home town and the high school.
She becomes aware that the baby has fallen asleep for a short time but
awakens when the conductor loudly shouts for tickets the young man asks if
he might hold the baby for a short time. Telling her he has always hoped to
someday marry and have children. He is now concerned this might never
happen and would like to hold a baby before its to late she is filled with
emotion and tracks her own fortune having her children safe and sound.
His stop is near as he kisses the baby on the forehead and speaks to the
older son, "I will go so you won't have to" and waves good bye. Many wars
and years go by she hopes to see him again but through the town paper she
finds out he was a casualty of WAR. Her sons were spared the horrors of war.
The Mother will always believe an Angel in uniform was on that train
that cold winter day.
Marianne J Bires