he walked lightly…

As I sat in the lobby of a doctor’s building, he attracted my attention – reminding me so much of my father, recently deceased. He dressed neatly like my father had his whole life. My father had even worn a similar windowpane shirt. This man today was old – Asian – and walked lightly with a cane which grazed the carpet as if it might break if he dared put the full force of his years upon it. He spoke softly to the young American woman walking beside him, perhaps so she too would remain unbroken. He wore a wide brown belt that held him together at the waist. They paused, as though allowing me a moment with my father. Then the two walked away slowly. I heard him gently tell her he lived alone, now that his wife had passed. And there was a brief hesitation in which he collected the pieces of his breaking heart as I made haste to gather mine.

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