Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WARMTH OF MEMORY, by BERTON BRALEY



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THE WARMTH OF MEMORY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: In rail transportation the old-fashioned station
Last Line: Brute of a waiting-room stove!
Subject(s): Railroad Stations


In rail transportation the old-fashioned station
Is rapidly passing away.
A modern age this is and old edifices
Become very quickly passé.
The hard, greasy benches, the strange, aged stenches
Which once filled the depot are gone;
While smart airs and graces of steam-heated places
Beguile us as time passes on.

But still there's one splendid
Old friend that I miss
As over the country I rove;
One spell now is ended
And that is just this—
The glow of the Coal Burning Stove,
That ample and round-bellied
Thick, iron-bound bellied
Corpulent waiting-room stove!

When frozen with driving—how good on arriving
To shake off the sleet and the snow
Of bleak January and steam in the merry
Delight of that heart-warming glow!
That stove filled its function at jerk-water junction,
At tank and at desolate town;
The winds might be pouring their drafts through the flooring
But still you could bake yourself brown.

With tears I remember
The hours that I spent
At Hickstown, Cold Creek, and Bear Cove,
In bitter December;
But warm and content
Parked close to that Coal Burning Stove,
That anthracite-fed-bellied
Gorgeously red-bellied
Competent waiting-room stove!

What tales Rabelaisian I've heard on occasion
In rough camaraderie there,
While drummers were sitting with natives and spitting
Straight into the open door's glare;
I'm not one to weep "Oh! The old-fashioned depot!"
Nor sigh that "Alas, it has passed!"
But no modern heating can ever be beating
The warmth that that Coal Burner cast.

And so I am singing
The glow that it threw,
That travelers' rich treasure-trove;
The heat it was flinging
When winter winds blew,
That marvelous He-Husky Stove;
That potently pot-bellied
Cherry-red-hot-bellied
Brute of a waiting-room stove!





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