The Red Suitcase Adventures (Part 3)

Yes concert, Indianapolis
Image via Wikipedia

By night I
was used to the train and its noises,

And after
the day’s excitement I wanted to rest,

I nibbled on crackers and jerky, read for awhile,

Obtained a
blanket and prepared my nest,


I was asleep
when the train came to a halt,

lights flickered and I awoke with a start,

A rumor
spread like wildfire, “An animal had been hit,

The carcass
was dragged off, replaced some train parts,”


While we
were still pondering, the train slowly came to life,

I spoke to the
engineer before I headed back to bed,

“What did we
hit?” I questioned, “It sure caused a stir,”

“I thought I
saw a woman, swinging something red,”


He wanted to
talk, especially since I thought he was sane,

The train
had hit something, or someone was playing a game,

He wanted to
know if anyone was missing from my car,

And if I
did, would I please find out her name?


“Each body
was accounted for,” I replied, “I counted them myself,”

“Martha,” I
whispered softly, “this is not the time to play,

Not only do we
have places to go, but love is at stake,

Jon is
missing his love letter and he needs it today,”

I think
Martha had been listening ,

Because at
six an attendant showed up,

Sir, would
you get your friend and follow me?

We found a
red suitcase next to a steaming coffee cup,”


Jon was not
easily awakened from his deep sleep,

Grumbled and
said he was allergic to sunlight,

“Come back
and talk to me,” he said crossly,

“When there
are neons and night,”


“Lead the
way,” I said, “Jon will follow along,”

three cars to an opened door,

suitcases were stacked along one side,

“Is this red
one the one you’re looking for?”


Jon lifted
it and proclaimed, “Yes, it’s mine,”

He walked
past the attendant without another word,

I slipped a
handsome tip into a waiting hand,

unruly words were heard,


Jon headed
to the lounge and opened the suitcase,

He tossed
clothes left and right,

He pulled
out an envelope and held it high,

He handed it
to me.  “Here, you’ve got better light,”


He didn’t
want me to know his fear,

He wasn’t
ready for the cost,

If his worst
dream came true,

And she
simply told him to get lost,


I opened the
letter, letting the tension build,

Jon urged me
to hurry, he wanted to know,

First I saw
the delicately drawn hearts,

So I knew
and I deliberately read slow,


“Dear Jon, I’m
tired of waiting for you,

But if your
music rocks your world,

Then waiting
is what I’ll do,

But better
yet, give my way a whirl,


I’m flying to
L.A. so I can be with you,

If you
really love me with all your heart,

I’ll embrace
your life of music,

And I’ll be
there from the start,”




Jon’s love
life was in order,

He could
settle in and get some rest,

Tomorrow we
would be in town,

He had to be
at his best,


My suitcase
contained the clothes,

That I’d
need to walk about town,

I went to
the baggage compartment,

Now mine was
nowhere to be found,

(To be

The Red Suitcase Adventures (Part 2)

Kansas City Southern Railway Observation car &...
Image via Wikipedia

The Santa Fe
across the desert rolled on,

I carried my lunch to the observation car,

antelope and deer graze,

Wondered how pioneers could travel so far,


Later in the
day I returned to my chair,

I wanted a
nap because I was beat,

But one of
the young men waited,

His face
showing frustration and defeat,


“My name is
Jon.  I’m coming apart at the seams,

My girlfriend
says since I’ve been with the band,

She’s been
left alone too much,

She’s moving
out and hopes I’ll understand,”


“She claimed
she left a note in my suitcase,

Explaining that she loved me but didn’t “love” me,

She said
someday we would meet again,

For now I’d
have to wait and see,”


Jon was
suffering or he wouldn’t be sharing his story,

I listened,
really listened, for I made a promise to hear,

What people
were concerned about on their trip,

But what
convinced me to listen was Jon’s tear,


‘I’ve looked
all over but my suitcase is gone,

I need that
letter if I’m to stay sane,

else can be replaced,

I can’t
concentrate and it’s giving me pain,”


We searched
the baggage compartments,

And everywhere
our attendant led,

I was
reluctant to tell Jon,

I had seen
several suitcases that were red,


Finally after
some urging the attendant said,

“An elderly
gentleman left the train early today,

He carried
two suitcases, and one was red,

One appeared
heavy, the red one almost didn’t weigh,”


I returned
to my seat and read awhile,

Then I
watched the landscape fly by,

I mused
about how lives can be different,

Yet loneliness
and despair can touch us until we die,


I had
suffered through previous broken relationships,

lessons much too late,

I knew I had
to help Jon find his suitcase,

He was too
young to leave it to fate,


I was on a
train trying to discover me,

Jon was on a
mission to find fortune and fame,

And Martha was
still earthbound and having fun,

and mischief, it was all just a game.

(To be



The Red Suitcase Adventures

A view from the south of the pier at Manhattan...
Image via Wikipedia

was ready, my suitcases packed,

My itinerary
and tickets in hand,

This was to
be more than a visit to see friends,

It was an
adventure, you understand?


The train
station was beautiful even at night,

Clean restrooms,
high ceilings, tiled floors,

Indoor restaurants,
this was high style,

I couldn’t
ask for anything more,


changes and bus accommodations,

It looked
complicated but something I could do,

I would take
one destination at a time,

gradually work my way through,


I must have
appeared slightly confused,

For an
attendant asked, “Where are you going?”

“I’m from
the Midwest and I want to be warm,

In California
will it still be snowing?”


“Go to the
last car,” she said with a laugh,

“I think you’ll
be warm enough,

When the
Express gets us close to the coast,

You won’t
find the weather so rough,”


I threw my red
suitcase into the luggage bin,

Next to a
dozen or more,

They all
looked very similar,

But there
was no other place it could be stored,


I climbed
the narrow stairs and took my seat,

And placed
my overnight bag overhead,

I wondered
if the travelers wanted to talk,

But they
turned aside instead,


As the Santa
Fe pulled away from the station,

excitement was difficult to keep in,

But most of
the passengers had gone to sleep,

I decided to
read, and tomorrow I’d sleep in,


The bouncing
of the train, the tell-tell noise,

Each part of
the experience soon became the whole,

I dozed in a
semi-frozen state,

But I could
not ignore the cold,


By 6 a.m.
many of the passengers headed for the lounge,

Hot coffee was
foremost in their minds,

They were
oblivious to the landscape,

Endless and
uninhabited, it was one of a kind,


There was
too much noise, how could I rest,

Yet across
the aisle from me, two young men slept,

Each curled
up in a blanket snoring with zest,

And behind
them was an elderly man, who wept,


wrong?” I queried, “What can I do?”

He looked at
me squarely and wiped away his tears,

“When my
wife died of cancer five years ago,

I promised
her I’d travel each and every year,”


“Sometimes I
fly, sometimes I take the train,

But I always go to her favorite places,

And out of
nowhere there are people,

Who have
very familiar faces,”


always travels with me,

Even if she’s
just here in my mind,

We spent
fifty years together,

And she
still is the best friend I could find,”


Wiping away
tears he said,

“I must have
gotten something in my eyes,”

He was
embarrassed by his sudden emotions,

Refusing to
admit that sometimes he cries,


My attention
turned to the two young men,

“Where are
you going and where have you been?”

“We’re headed to L.A. for a ‘Battle of the

If we show
our talents we’re sure we’ll win!”


“We were in
Madison three nights ago,

A producer asked
us to play at Manhattan Beach,

It was
across the country and days to arrive,

But we decided
it was not out of our reach,”


One broken older
man with a spirit guide,

A band
searching for money and fame,

And me
looking for adventure and writing it down,

This trip
would be exciting, like a reality game!

(To be



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