lenten journal: fellow traveler


the last one on the plane and
he took the last seat between me
and the young soldier on his way home

the old man had white curls under
a pork pie hat, thin black glasses,
a white shirt under a tweed sportscoat
his pants fastened where waists used to be

he aimed his conversation at the soldier
out of my ear shot, though I heard
him tell he had once served as well

they talked till we all dozed off.
I turned once to look at him and
saw him smiling in his sleep
and imagined he was dreaming

of coming home long ago
on a spring night not as stormy,
train coming into the station and he

leaning out the window to catch
a glimpse of her on the platform
shining in that pink dress — the same one
she wore the first time he said he loved her.


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