A blustery day.
Choppy whitecaps on the lake.
The sun trying to break through the striated clouds.
My hair whipping across my face
then swept back.
Arms crossed tight.
Hands tucked in sleeves.
A thin figure pulling a suitcase
draws slowly closer until
I see his brown, weather-beaten roadmap face
beneath a hunter green acrylic cap
wide cuff pulled down to wispy grey eyebrows.
Thin, straight lips and a grey -stubbled chin,
wiry form encased
in a narrow black double breasted trench coat,
he stops, looks at me with skittish eyes:
“Cold today isn’t it!”
Not a question.
“Reminds me of a day…of a day…in Okinawa,”
eyes looking into the past;
“The high wind then, just like now.
Just this kind of day. And the Americans fired on the ship.
Thing broke right in two.”
“Really!” I exclaim, but he doesn’t hear. He isn’t here.
He’s in Okinawa, 1945.
The wind picks up and pushes him along.
I watch his bent form plodding
and wonder what’s in that narrow suitcase
he pulls behind him.
The day is tinged with melancholy.