ESCALATOR

A Poem By Vern Fein

I saw her on the other side of the escalator
as if I saw her on the other side of life.
She was going up; I was going down.
We were once neighbors, close women friends,
but like the revolving doors
that spin so many lives through our days
we drifted apart and disappeared
into the crowd.

Every Friday a family pizza night
Laughter and beer,
through soccer and all the school years.
Across our unfenced yard,
we shared husband intimacies,
bonding barbs about our crazy neighbor.
Did she really have an axe behind her door
before her house burned down?
I said if there were a God, He would be right-handed;
she said there wasn’t one, but if there were
She would throw her bolts southpaw.
Once on a bike ride, she flipped over her handlebars
and broke her leg.
I nursed her back to health
helping her forgive me for
narrowly winning PTA prez.
She got me back
becoming the Girl Scout
Mom of the Year.
We laughed a lot.
The one year we were really close
our families tried to go on vacation to Florida
but she was afraid of sand fleas.
We never went.

I don’t remember why we pulled apart
was it even before you moved away?
Was it a fight our sons once had?
Did we drift after Jane’s prom
when she ruined the dress lent her?

Now, passing on the escalator,
a slight wave,
a cracked smile,
as if one of us had stuttered.


Vern Fein has published poems in *82 Review, The Literary Nest, Silver Birch Press, Rat’s Ass Review, Bindweed Magazine, Gyroscope Review, a haiku, Spillwords, VerseWrights, VietNam War Poetry, 1947 Journal, Spindrift, has non-fiction pieces in Quail Bell and Write At The Write Time, and has a short story in the the online magazine Duende from Goddard College.
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