Kyphotic and aged
By Garland Davis
As I neared the old sailor, he stood kyphotic
and showed his age and many years before the mast.
Perhaps he saw my dress blues and the jaunty
white hat as I walked toward with a seaman’s roll.
Over pizza and beer, discomfort ran in background
mode while we talked of ships and wars, beers and
girls, laughed at the stories and cried for those
shipmates who had already gone on before us.
But by midnights approach everything said and
nothing said as we stood, unease swelled to dread.
As separation and departure approached, my stride
beside his shuffle, left no more a print than his.
We reached the Old Sailor’s Home and turned to
say our farewells. We hugged on the street, the
thin weight of his nearness against my chest.
As though warned, I tried not to look back.
See ya next time Dad.