I used to know a train was coming.
I could hear it wailing in the distance, its metal wheels clickety-clacking closer and closer. I knew that soon the whole world would be roaring with a whoosh of steam and a shriek of sparks.
The earth would rumble and my bones would shake and a train would definitely come.
But when I told my mum she’d laugh gently and carry on picking the blackberries growing by the path.
No trains, Pippin. Not any more.
And I would look at the mangled metal at my feet and know that she was wrong. I could feel it. Somewhere in front of us, somewhere close, a train was coming.
Now. Now it’s different.
I look at the rusted, twisted tracks at my feet and I can’t feel the train. I don’t hear it screaming and I don’t feel the ground trembling. My stomach doesn’t sink and fall and churn, my heart doesn’t pound.
The air stays quiet. No sparks. No steam. No wailing.
Now I only see old tracks that poke up out of the earth, threatening to trip me up if I’m not careful.
I don’t know a train is coming any more.
Maybe now is when it will.