Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Winter weary
I wait in line
boot slush seeping
into the industrial carpet.
Pearl earrings, cardigan
quick and efficient
Martha is my teller.
Never chatty
today she speaks.
"My cat died last night."
I stutter over a so-sorry
as she slides my receipt
gestures for the next in line.

this slice of sorrow stays with me
throughout the day.
I picture empty spaces
altered routines
gone grazing the tongue.
What have I to offer
other than this ...
of a fellow soldier.

Bridget Harwell