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Joshua Meander
Waiting and Liberated

It is bad to miss the last train,
But then you feel liberated
Being camped out at the station.

You zip up your wool coat
And dramatize the cold.

Yesterday if you saw someone
Like yourself through the train window
You would have winced and uttered,  “Bum!”

Tonight you wait with a handful
Of others just like you –
The temporarily disabled.

Train station refugees
Who clutch a cup of black coffee
In one hand like it is their spouse.
An unused pay phone makes
Their eyes pop as if they saw God.

Noticing your breath puff
Instigates a long chill.

When a stranger asks for a match,
You respond so warmly
As if he were your chosen one.

Any other night you would brace
For a fight or send him away.
Now he could be insulation,
And small talk through the numbing wait.

A struck match is a torch of hope.

Stranger blows out a match,  drops it.
He walks off,  and the cold returns.

 

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