The Bluebird – a poem

The Bluebird

Hours transporting dreams never-before-dreamed

and hopes for the maybe-possible,

end in clouds of steam and coal smoke as the Wabash Bluebird

chugs to a stop,

returning the 10 year-old child from the City of Big Shoulders

to his home in the Corn Belt.

His mind swims with the big city memory of the real league-of-their-own girls,

staying with his aunt Agnes in the back of her antique shop,


drifting off to the rumble of Cottage Grove Green Hornets.

He brings home the awe of a big world

to his little town,

the big world of traffic, sirens, paddy wagons

and their wonderful, lethal exhaust,

of neighborliness painted by the denizens

of a next-door bar,

who tell him stories of the city,

with a sandwich and a coke,

just because he’s a kid,

and mesmerized.

The Bluebird grows ghostly as he watches it depart for the South.

Could perhaps the world be an immense, never-ending


Then for the first time the child sees his home town

as a different place,

through new eyes.

And he sees the metropolis as a place

of excitement,  curiosity, creativity.

Where the heart cares about more than its next beat.

Ripples of heat radiate from the crops

for another ten summers,

and ten more winters shroud the remains in snow.

An ever-stronger force draws the boy toward

the city where he needs to be.

As departure looms real,

the brave boy is brave only until the leaving.

The brave are always afraid when first they awake.

At the final leaving,

the golden harvest of that final  season

sets the wedding car aglow

with its luminous halo

on the grand highway to the Windy City.

And all else fades to gray.

– – Written by Larry Ambrose


About Chicago Stories

I'm a Chicagoan, have been for fifty years. I've had a consulting business in the city for thirty-eight years, working with many Chicago companies and organizations and others around the world. Before that, I worked the city's race relations agency for five years.I am a volunteer tour guide for Chicago's Greeter Program and introduce visitors from around the world to this beautiful city. I'm also a writer of several professional books as well as poetry, essays and fiction. The city has become my inspiration, education and entertainment. View all posts by Chicago Stories

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