Old Man Alone

He travels country roads
to sense
where they might have gone,
bodies passing
through the same space
if not time.

He sniffs out their thoughts,
has a conversation
with air. His eyes strain
to see as they did.
Ears perk at imagined words.

In the distance, over forest and glen,
an aircraft beacon pulses
with a simple, yet seductive
red wink, a steady, repeating voice,
“I’m here …
…………………..here …
………………………………..here …”
over his shoulder.

Its automated semaphore glow
stands in for human contact,
for the back and forth of conversation,
the steady beat
beneath half-forgotten songs.

The light is family, it is friend,
it is him
as he drifts down the road,
becomes a twinkle of tail lights
in the dusk, a memory of a man
who passed this way
a few hours ago,
long years ago,
alone.

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