A Railroad Tale

Mine was a tough job, but I took pride in doing it well for more than twenty years. It required me to be patient, alert, and extremely durable. I was all those things and more.

Mine was a dirty job as well. From the highway, on rainy or snowy days, grime and water would splash off the street and turn my white base color a mucky gray. From the railroad, came dusty or sometimes wet high pressure wind bearing grains of sandy grit that pitted me and chipped me, even occasionally disabling some critical part of me temporarily as massive trains roared past on schedule to elsewhere.

My big red eyes flashed often, warning the highway world that a train was coming. My great long arm swung down to inhibit the bold from bypassing me. I kept everyone safe until one fateful day when Mrs. Tanner drove around my barrier onto the tracks in the path of the southbound 5:40 Amtrak.

She stalled, then panicked and froze.

The impact broke my heart.

They blamed me and replaced me. Now I live in storage, waiting for the call.

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