Cold Comfort

He fortifies himself against the cold journey ahead,
this way too frigid life for a Kaua‘i boy,
downing one last long sip of coffee to the bottom,
pushes himself heavily from the chair, puts on his long-johns,
his undershirt, his blue and red checked lumberjack shirt,
and then the fading green Army jacket, all of it
still not enough protection against the winter wind
and snow and ice, the winter he learned to hate in the war,
how his toes turned black, were nearly frozen off,
to the point where he worried more about them
than jumping out of airplanes,
would they break off when he hit the ground.

He stares at the empty cup wondering
if he should leave himself a tip for his good service,
but there would be nobody to thank him for it but himself.

How seldomly we weep for something that will be lost someday,
rarely mourning what we will lose in advance.

Time watches him, passes her hand across his eyes,
hypnotizing him, anesthetizing him, so he
won’t see it or feel it all anymore.

She watches him trudge out the door, into the cold,
pockets him for sorrow and burrows on with him
into all possible futures with the same ever after.

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