Man on a Bench
Walking through a gallery, two hours in,
I glimpse a brother in weariness.
I know what he is feeling,
his shoulders slumped, hands listless,
leaning on his elbows.
I wear jeans and boots,
not polyester putter pants,
white socks and old man shoes,
but I know the old man gaze,
too long in a museum, glad to be sitting,
feet aching, knees that will creak when he gets up.
My father had a watch like his,
wore a polo like his, had that look,
waiting, waiting, waiting to die.
Above and to the right is a small sign,
identifying the artist and naming
the Man on a Bench.
My brother in weariness won't respond
if I greet him, won't scoot over,
invite me to sit down.
Still, we know each other,
know what it is like to be waiting.
Edward H. Garcia
Edward H. Garcia is retired from teaching composition, literature, and creative writing in the Dallas County Community College District. He has published reviews, articles, stories and poems in The Dallas Morning News, The Texas Observer, The Texas Humanist, Pawn Review, Texas Books in Review, Tex!, County Line Magazine, Bewildering Stories, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, Rio Grande Review, Amarillo Bay Literary Magazine, The Avalon Literary Review, Southwest Historical Quarterly, The Blotter, The Acentos Review and SFWP Quarterly. He is represented in Texas in Poetry 2, Texas Short Stories 2, Literary Dallas, and in two anthologies of writing by DCCCD faculty and staff, Out of Dallas and Voices from Within. Some of his poems have been translated into Albanian and published in an anthology of American poetry: Poezia: bashkekohore amerikane. He lives on the upper east side of Texas with his wife Rica.
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