Monday Morning Musings:


“My baby takes the morning train

He works from nine till five and then

He takes another home again

To find me waitin’ for him”

Florrie Palmer, “Morning Train (Nine to Five),” (Recorded by Sheena Easton)


“Why do you write like you’re writing out of time?”

Lin Manuel Miranda, “Non Stop,” Hamilton


“Legacy. What is legacy?

It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”

Miranda, “The World Was Wide Enough,” Hamilton


“Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?”

–Lin Manuel Miranda, Hamilton


Blue wind soars

into a day of pink and peach

recall this picture– or forget

how the rhythm of earth

turns grey to dazzling bright,


and the magic of a cat

in a long, liquid stretch

with a purr that transfers

burrowing into your soul


How does it happen—


that the light of ghost stars

dances into your morning horizon

and you vow to remember this


how it travels

in light years


but blink—

and it’s gone.


We catch the train

walk a cobblestone lane


and past the willow tree

where Hamilton’s bank peeks softly

Willow tree at Dock Creek, Philadelphia

through branches still green

past, present, what might have been


but here we are

to watch women on trapeze bar


climbing silks, twirling on a hoop

they move in the air, dance, swoop


in transit, a search

for love, a perch

above offers reflection

(and they are perfection)


in strength and skill

traveling without a spill


from any apparatus

and those hearts grab us


the emotions she carries

with colors that vary


red, black and blue

well, we understand, do you?


The red given to lovers, the black

weighing her down, from the lack–


but friends help with the burden

though life is still uncertain.


We so enjoy the show

then it’s time to go


past a wedding



from where the Founding Fathers’ prayed

bridal party and guests all finely arrayed


and we walk and people-watch

from a little swatch


with drinks and apps

then perhaps

it’s time to walk

and talk


down streets and alleys

where people have rallied,


where a Revolutionary generation

fought, died, and built a nation–

to reflect on light

as we travel into the night.



We catch the train

the next day—again


over the bridge, high

above where boats sail by

Delaware River from Patco train

eat a pre-theater meal

and I’m so excited, I feel

happy to be here

(Hamilton walked near)


lucky to be alive right now–

and wow!

the show lives up to every expectation

and anticipation,


believe the hype, what they say is true

it’s brilliant through and through.


I cry a bit after Philip dies

but laugh and clap, too, and time flies


till we’re heading home on the train



And though moon peaks from a cloud

humming—not too loud


Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?


I dream of things I don’t understand

of Hamilton, and far off lands


of immigrants who get things done–

well, my grandfather was one.


But where does a dream go

between slumber and slowed


breathing and thinking

thoughts slinking


and winking in your mind

till you wake to find


the dream’s traveled far

beyond time, and where are


they? Where do they go

when they’ve flowed


from your brain,

but sometimes appear again?


My mother asks if my father’s alive

and I ponder and strive


to find a way

to say–


cause he died

years ago, not alive


but I’m helpless when she insists

and the dreams twists


then falls away.


So, I write, prose and rhyme

because I’m running out of time


planting seeds, a legacy

she’ll never get to see.


We saw In Transit, a show that’s part of the Philadelphia Fringe line-up this year. We both really enjoyed it, and this group of women of Tangled Movement Art who we’ve seen perform before. They combine theater and circus art. “Morning Train” was a song that was repeated throughout the show. Then, of course we saw Hamilton. The show is a bit of a love song to NYC, but Philadelphia knows Hamilton walked here, too.

I’m delayed today because my computer decided to eat my file, but fortunately, I was able to recover it. Moment. Of. Panic.














35 thoughts on “Travelers

  1. Your line “because I’m running out of time” resonates so much with me, Merril. It leaves me feeling so empty inside. But on a lighter note, I loved this post. I’d completely forgotten that song “Morning Train.” I remember playing that all the time on my Walkman. 🙂 The weeping willow is magnificent! It’s always been my favorite tree. Have a great Monday!

  2. I love the rhyming couplets! So jealous you got to see Hamilton. “Everyone” has seen it but me haha. When my daughter was living in NYC she was friends with someone in the cast and got to see it for, wait for it, free! 🙂 Phoenix had it so early on that there was no way to get tickets. It’s coming again, but not this coming season, the one after (20-21).

    • Thank you so much, Luanne. I’m glad you liked the couplets! I actually bought the Broadway series a year ago (like other people I know), just to get the Hamilton tickets. It was worth it. But then also I got an early access code, so my niece and her daughter were able to get tickets and see it, too, on another night. That’s amazing that your daughter got to see it for free! Maybe you’ll get to see it the next time it comes.

      • I was already thinking about season tickets for that season. They are doing Frozen, too, I think. That might be fun. The only problem is our main tour theatre is the Gammage at ASU. It’s a Frank Lloyd Wright design, but he apparently didn’t understand acoustics at all. The acoustics pretty much suck. And they had to redo the bathrooms because he thought women don’t pee either.

      • Sorry–hope it works out! I didn’t get the new Broadway season because there were too many plays I didn’t want to see (like Sponge Bob), and it’s expensive–and we have two theater series for Philadelphia theaters. We’re seeing “our” favorite Ragtime next month at the Arden. I wonder if your daughter’s friend is in it?

  3. My neighbor had a willow tree that I loved to sit against when I was a child. It was my favorite spot to read, the dripping fronds gave me privacy.
    This here choked me up: “So, I write, prose and rhyme / because I’m running out of time / planting seeds, a legacy
    she’ll never get to see.” No words. Just ❤️

  4. I saw that sense of time fall away with my mother too. But maybe they have the right point of view. I was thinking this morning how my memories are so entangled now I often can’t figure out what I did, dreamed, or read or heard about from someone else. Maybe it doesn’t matter in the end.
    I have not seen Hamilton yet. Maybe the movie? (K)

  5. Such a beautiful willow tree. I love it when it shows up in your posts (here and on IG). Weeping willows remind me of childhood, a sense of safety. I really want to see Hamilton. I’ve heard so many good things about it.
    I enjoyed the rhythm and rhyme in your post, and the thoughts that provoke. I love the picture of the quote where we can see your reflection. It’s as if you are part of the quote, in a non-literal way that I can’t explain.

    • Thank you very much, Robin! Have you listened to the soundtrack? I’ve listened to it a lot, but seeing it, put a lot in perspective.
      I like that photo, too. I didn’t even notice the reflection until I downloaded it. I might “gram” it. 😉

  6. What a wonderful week you had! Hamilton! Lucky devils…

    Every time I visit my mother-in-law, she asks me how her son is. I simply lie and say he’s fine and is working so he couldn’t come to visit. She’ll ask me 3-4 times per visit. Every question is posed thrice at least. It serves no purpose to hurt her and say he is gone. She’ll cry, get over it, ask again.

    I agree with Jane! Loved the rhythm and the end!

  7. I’m so glad the computer recovered so you could re-hover over your memories of some amazing times. Time is a nemesis, is it not? I write fast also, because I never will have enough time to write it all, although my legacy may be hundreds of well-worn notebooks hidden in the bottoms of closets and drawers of file cabinets.
    And lastly, my grandfather’s name was Philip Schuyler. My mom’s family comes from a long line of Schuylers, and Elizabeth is a great great great something-or-other. And. Yet. I still have not seen HAMILTON! (I think they should give me front row seat, don’t you? 🙂

    • Thank you, Pam. I don’t have notebooks–or tons of letters like the Hamiltons.
      Oh–Philip was a family name–the name of “the Schulyer’s sisters'” father, and Eliza and Alexander’s son. I’d give you a free ticket. 🙂 Are you going to try to see the show?

      • We bought the Broadway series, just to get Hamilton tickets. 🙂 And then we got a special access code before the tickets were opened to the general public, so my niece and daughter were able to get tickets. Otherwise, it is quite a process to get tickets, but we have friends who got them in Philadelphia.

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