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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


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.