“Sweet Caroline”

Carol A. Hand

Clickety-clack clickety-clack
My brother’s only one
Clickety-clack clickety-clack
My mother’s on the run
We’re on a train to Texas
She hopes the abuse is finally done


Photo: Passenger Train from the 1950s

Clickety-clack clickety-clack
Open plains are rolling by
Clickety-clack clickety-clack
I watch my mother cry
Clickety-clack clickety-clack
Mile after mile
There’s no one else to comfort her
So I try to make her smile

Clickety-clack clickety-clack
Will this journey never end
Clickety-clack clickety-clack
I could use a friend
Passengers try to make me smile
Calling me “Sweet Caroline

Clickety-clack clickety-clack
Little do we know
Clickety-clack clickety-clack
There are many more miles to go
As my father follows us to New Mexico
Arizona, and finally Lac du Flambeau

Clickety-clack clickety-clack
My mother sobs, my brother cries
Clickety-clack clickety-clack
I vow to protect her
From my father’s blows
Beneath Wisconsin skies

The tracks of hoped for salvation
Are but a memory past
It took another forty years
For my mother to be free at last


Neil Diamond, “Sweet Caroline

 Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

14 thoughts on ““Sweet Caroline”

  1. A nice synthesis of folksong, ballad and modern popular song. Using the onomatopoeia of the train on the track creates a nice looping rhythm. And it’s accessible poetry, something we need more of these days.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for such thoughtful comments, Art. The inspiration to write is a strange phenomenon. This came from a melody and words that kept playing through my thoughts this morning. I recognized the voice (Neil Diamond), but not the song. When I found it on youtube, the title of the song unlocked memories of the sound of the train when I was four as we traveled across the country. The words just flowed like those of a child… It needs work, but it could be a good folk or country song.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks, Carol. He is doing better tonight and has been moved out of ICU and into a room. Until they figure out what caused the critical drop in his BP he’ll remain there, I’m sure. Have a great week. Love, N 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Carol. You remind us of the VAWA and that there is always work to be done. We’re responsible for one another and sometimes it takes art (poetry) to inspires us. Visit womenshealth.gov

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you for acknowledging the importance of programs to address violence against women. Kennedy. I wish those services had existed during the years my mother struggled. And thank you for sharing the link 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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