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A Familiar Face

I have never entered a creative storm quite like the one I've been experiencing for the past couple weeks. I hope it keeps me captive for a while longer! I wrote "A Familiar Face" on the subway Sunday evening.

A Familiar Face

by Lauren Taub Cohen

I passed him each day

at different times

sitting absolutely still

on the same bench

wearing the same clothes -

plaid shirt and bulky blue jeans.

His sagging rucksack

leaning against him

like a loyal but weary


I tried not to stare

but his stoicism

was striking.

Vibrancy glowed

in those amber eyes

which shone in stark

contrast to the grime

coating his clasped hands.

I wondered how

he had ended up here.

Yesterday, I walked

through the park again

expecting to see him

but he was gone.

I stood before his

vacant bench

and whispered

a prayer

I say to myself

each morning,

“May you be safe.

May you be loved.

May you live with ease

and the blessings

of good health.”

Aren't those needs,

those aches

universal to us all

and impervious

to the trudge of time?

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