Morning Poem, April 23, 2015

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Thomas Edwards walked at night.

He lived in the house across the street.

One summer our air conditioner was out for almost a month.

And I would awaken in the wee hours, sweating

I’d look out the open window at the street, the lawns

And there he would be, time and again

Walking alone, his shadow shifting back to front

As he passed under streetlamps.

I knew something of his story.

He’d served in the Pacific in World War II

Then worked thirty years at the plant.

Married with three kids

One girl a year ahead of me in school

Who was pretty and smart and stayed out of trouble.

I made up my mind to ask him why.

He was not a spooky or unapproachable type.

And I thought of every way to make my question seem normal

And not intrusive.

But there was no way

And so I sat on the front porch one August night

At three in the morning

And when he came by I asked him

Hey, Mr. Edwards, why you up?

Well, it’s cooler out now, he said.

But you walk every night, I said.

Even in the winter.

This is the time I think the best, he said.

I breathe easier

I see the world at peace.

 

Copyright 2015

 

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