Softly Calling
by Jonathan Bolick

his voice was barely
discernable above
the hum and drum
of the coolers,
and patrons,
of the convenience store,
as he answered,
“Yes, that will be all.”

His new caramel-colored suit fit loosely,
as if to allow room to grow,
for more days like today
for his blue-eyed youth to endure.

he handed me a twenty
and as I made change,
his eyes and heart looked
out the ad-stained, glass doors
across the road,
into the cemetery,
at the tent straddled
over a cold, stone tablet,
with someone’s name
he knew too well.

as he left, I wondered
who it was he missed so
and if he was going back
to be a little closer,
just once more.

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