Rapt, an old man inspects his living room mirror

but not for his image. Instead, its angle

subtly reflects the light of a stub of candle

on the silent piano. He might say the reflection shimmers

but the years, though blessed, have jaded him some.


He’d rather avoid such a hackneyed word

but he’s also abandoned the urge to think up a better.

A train comes to mind, though he doesn’t know why.

He can’t recall when it was he saw it or even

if, but it seems some caboose’s lantern


lodged in his mind a lifetime ago, its glow

growing distant. Was it even then a matter

of things he longed for fading? The rattle and click

on the tracks make a poignant song. He’d rather

ignore its meaning, clearer now than ever.