Things Change

The tempo of the steel wheels got faster as the train began to pull away. Carl pressed his hand on the window and watched the prettiest girl he’d ever known, his new bride, Sara, hurry down the platform waving after him.

He was gone to fight in the struggle. – Southeast Asia -. He was still unsure what it was about, but they all assured him that he was protecting America.

So he went. And, there he found



A Carl he’d never known 

Wounded and dead, piled like driftwood

A Purple Heart

Morphine and his own proclivity for the same


The tempo of steel wheels lessened as the train eased into the station. Carl pressed his hand on the window and searched the platform for Sara. They had taken away his morphine, but substitutes are easily found, in a war zone. Life was never going to be what he’d grown up believing.


Medicines that raced like trains through his veins were more important 

More important than the bride he barely knew

More important than money or food or family

More important than life itself


The train doesn’t stop here anymore. 

The economy is in decline. 

Property values are non-existent.

Sara lives alone at the edge of town. 

Carl never stood a chance, 

– bowled down by forces beyond his control.

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