The Return

by Jim Tolan



An old man sits in my straight-backed chair
salvaged from the curbside trash
sits quietly, without shifting or harrumphing,

sits and drinks plain tea, his sober eyes
never doubting what his life’s been worth
or who he has become.

I wait for him to swallow
one more slow sip of tea, before
I ask where he has been so long without me.


Originally published in This Land, Vol. 5, Issue 9, May 1, 2014.