A Solitary Eye

Waiting for the train to come,
Lugging my luggage, I stood
Holding the ticket I had booked
Hoping I could reach home.

He held his handless arm out
Pleading with his empty eye
That had now become so dry
His temple sweating with doubt.

Mixing with the longing to leave
Came an emotion from the back
That really took the mind off track
And made me morally grieve.

Grieve for the losses he bore
At the age when he should play.
How his fortune had turned away
Leaving him at Deprivation’s door!

Only a frowning face so grim,
Which never gave him any respite:
That’s all he received, despite
My heart going out for him.

A result of a modicum of disdain
For the sordid, squalid lives
Of poor men and their wives.
I stood there stoic, but so vain.

His importunate eye never left me.
Diffident, he made no noise.
Stolidly steady, he gave no voice
To the reason of his necessity.

The blare of the approaching train,
Derisive of our befallen hush
Reproved the insolent boy to rush
To escape the stampede of men.

A boiling cauldron of emotion was I:
Relieved, ashamed, guilty and spurred
All at once with moral vision too blurred
To see a solitary tear in a solitary eye.


Originally shared with a friend in the Summer of 2012