Whistle Stop

I watched an old black and white once, where a lady sat waiting
day after day, for a train to bring her man home from war.
Sometimes I buy roses, wrapped in brown paper, expecting
someone to ask who they’re for. I’ll say I’m meeting my girl
at the station, though trains rarely stop in this town. It’s easier
that way, full of romance. Streets are friendly when you’re carrying flowers–
packed with smiles and nods–like they’re not full of lonely people,
each hoping someone will see them. In a cafe, I listen to small talk
about Angie and Brad and how nothing is built to last
anymore. I check my watch and look up often
as though I have someplace to be. I hear the train
rumble past, not stopping, drop my roses
in the bin as I leave.

Ryan Stone

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