Greg Stidham


Girl in the Airport in the Brown Sweater

Moist eyes gaze past

fast food kiosks,

past milling children flying

paper airplanes, playing


her ears deaf

to the din that drives

most to distraction.

Her nose

is slightly rosy

and her eyes

she blots with her napkin,

and like a lab

emerging from a lake

she tosses her head

to shake off sadness like water.

Passing the Amish in Upstate New York

Driving up Highway 12 in Jefferson County,

up toward the banks of the St. Lawrence,

the trees with their last late-autumn leaves

still clinging to their colors and their branches,

winding through curves and over hills,

the sky brilliant blue, sun shining brightly

betraying the near-freezing temperatures outside.

As we topped a gentle hill the black buggy

came into view, drawn by an elegant black

stallion at full canter, the bearded man

with his full brimmed black hat, reins

in one hand, crop in the other, his wife

beside him thick shawl-wrapped like a mummy,

scarf around her neck and head, bonnet atop,

she hugged herself against the cold.

As we approached and I saw

their passing faces I waved impulsively.

She returned a friendly nod, too cold

to unwrap an arm to wave.


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