Waiting for the 472

Every evening, same time, same place, ole Jake sits—
hands thrust deep into tattered pockets,
chair tilted back against the station wall,
feet in worn-out boots,
pushing on the porch posts for balance.

“I reckon he’s a fixin’ to wind up on his tukus”
Zeke sputters mid-spit.

“Uh yup” says Jeb “or dead from a dadgum broke neck.”

“Oh mind yer bees-wax, y’ole coots.” quips Jake.

Every day, same time, same place these same three await
patiently (more or less) the arrival of the 472,
which is always on time (give or take an hour or so)
Either side of it— they’re there.

As the aging engine squawks and squeals
up to the station platform,
the three stand and stare,
a look of child-like expectation spans three gnarly faces–
squinting into the sun with twisted toothless grins.

The passengers disembark and after cheery greetings
and much milling about amongst the travelers,
their friends and kin, the platform is emptied.

The silence is so lonely then.

They shake their heads and try to hide
their utter disappointment– one more time.

Someday she will come;
someday they will be the lucky ones,
lavished with warm hugs
and smiles and kisses.

Someday when the 472 pulls up to the station,
they’ll have a turn– at last.