Railroad Stories: Clickety-Clack

A poem about the clickety-clack sounds of trains on the railroad tracks.

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When I was a child in a small town,
I'd lay at night and listen to the sound
Of the clickety-clack, clickety-clack,
Of train wheels on the railroad track.

As it pulled to a stop, I'd hear escaping steam.
Hear it pulse as if alive, and it would seem
It couldn't wait to be gone again,
And showed impatience with mere men.

There was a sound of a whistle as it pulled away,
I could almost see the cars as they swayed.
And again, I hear the clickety-clack
Of train wheels on the railroad track.

In the distance I could hear the whistle
As it traveled through land of cactus and thistle.
As it beckoned to travelers, I could hear the moan
Of that heavy engine, born to ever roam.

I love the sound of a train rushing by,
Seems the stars give echo as they shine on high.
But I was earthbound and must stay at home,
Too young but to listen to the engine's moan.

Ruby O. Davis
Denver, Colo.


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.