lenten journal: fellow traveler

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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.

Peace,
Milton

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