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Storied Bench

Storied Bench

Who’s rested on your slats?

Whose heart broke from the news?

Whose wounds grew?

Whose spirit held hope for easier days?

Whose fingertips traced chips and gripped the black arm?

Whose weary body, worn from worry and wear, rested?

Whose bleary eyes, full of fury and tears, closed?

Whose gaze held the knowing that all of humanity, the stars, moon, earth and life were wrapped into one,

tiny,

sun-drenched drop

of salted spray and that everything

would,

eventually,

yes, eventually,

be okay?

Tell me, oh solemn bench,

your stories.

Are you sworn to secrecy?

Have the rained rinsed them away

or do remnants remain

in your wood grain and peeled paint?

Was there a homeless woman

afraid for her life

while once a wife

and mother?

Was there a handsome man

full of pride

tethered to his skin

emotions checked within?

Was there a child

squirming to play

told to sit

and smile at the *click*?

Today it was me.

Bathed in sentiments of home:

Alpena to St. Pete

Thunder Bay to Tampa Bay

Unsalted Huron to salted Gulf

Sailboats, seagulls, and breakwalls

Family ties

Binding yesterday’s home to today’s home

Watching the bay water hit

and spit

salty spray

from rocky wall

as the sun rested

on tips of waves

like trillions of stars

on their backs

upside down

in the light of day

I hugged in my legs

drew in a breath

and added a layer of story

to the weathered bench.

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