A poem by Sarah Russell


I heard her story on the plane from Pittsburgh
to LA, smiled politely, shut my laptop, listened,

nodded. She was going to meet a childhood friend,
discovered on Facebook after sixty years. I walked

with her to the terminal, took her arm on the escalator,
felt her excitement and her faltering age.

When they saw each other, arms reached out,
and I was forgotten in their greeting. They didn’t hug,

but held the other’s face gentle in their hands,
tears in their eyes. There would be time for memories,

photos of children and grandchildren, husbands now dead.
But for now, they stood close, reading lifetimes in lines

and furrows—refuge, intimacy, secrets and confessions,
first kisses and heartbreak. I searched my mind for a friend

like that, someone so close we’d need no words if we
should meet again. Then I headed toward baggage claim.

About the Author:

Sarah Russell’s poetry and fiction have been published in Rattle, Kentucky Review, Misfit Magazine, Third Wednesday, and many other journals and anthologies. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee. She has two poetry collections published by Kelsay Books, I lost summer somewhere and Today and Other Seasons. Her novella The Ballerina Swan Lake Mobile Homes Country Club Motel was published by Running Wild Press. She blogs at

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