Aphelion Issue 279, Volume 26
December 2022/January 2023
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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by Thomas D Reynolds

I can no longer recall his voice,
Unless it was like the rustle of wind.

If it was winter,
Did he wear a long black coat?

Maybe he draped it over the table,
Stomped frost from his boots,

Ran his hand across wood grain,
marveling at my handiwork.

Or maybe unaccustomed to his voice,
He stared at splinters on the floor.

Perhaps he was hopelessly lost,
Stunned at the vastness of the plains,

Unless detecting smoke on the horizon,
He wandered by for cards and a smoke.

I only know I poured a half cup of coffee
And offered him a sit

Because there rests the cup
Still with a few dried grounds.

His chair balances yet
Where he drew it back to leave.

His footsteps, if I remember right,
Sounded like cannons firing.

© 2007 Thomas D Reynolds

Thomas Reynolds teaches at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, and has published poems in various print and online journals, including Combat, American Western Magazine, Flint Hills Review, Alabama Literary Review, Aethlon-The Journal of Sport Literature, New Delta Review, The Green Tricycle, Ariga, 3rd Muse Poetry Journal, Sidereality, and Prairie Poetry. My poem "How to Survive on a Distant Planet," published in Strange Horizons, was nominated for a Rhysling award for best short poem.

Find more by Thomas D Reynolds in the Author Index.

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