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Morning

Brock Miller

 

There were the complaints—

my bitter disgust

with the early hour (7):

my temporary friend

at the coffee counter

of a smoke-filled café

heard me and patiently

listened.

He never once mentioned it.

His mind rowed down the deep black river

of memories

and into the past.

The crushed legs.

The drip . . . drip . . . drip

of his own blood landing in his eye,

leaking from a twisted, cut hand

limply hanging over his head,

hours . . . seemed like days;

then the cold morning air,

his face beginning to freeze

into a scarlet slush.

Final moments, he had thought.

Death, he had thought.

And yet, there he sat alive

and listening

While I damned the day!

He never mentioned this to me,

but he did manage to crack a smile.