The Misplaced Man

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Contributor: Tobi Cogswell

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A long wait for the bus,
he buys two bananas
and a bottle of rum.

Sounds like a sea shanty
but he has not seen a ship
in a long while.

He’d turned toward a journey,
not away. Not because of love lost,
but a pilgrim’s need

to find something—
indescribable and worthy, and he did,
so now he returns.

The rum to warm and to cool him,
a rag to dry tears, sweat,
and the day’s rust and relief

from his face. In his pack
he moves a spare shirt
and two books to make room

for his gifts of food and fatherly
things. And husbandly things.
We see him from our window

and we love him for the story
of the man that he is, wish
him a safe return, a life full

of all the love he has found within,
and who he has become—a blessing
for his family. A lesson for us all.

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Tobi Cogswell is a five-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee. Her seventh and latest chapbook is “The Coincidence of Castles” from Glass Lyre Press. Her collaborative full-length collection, “The Color of Forgiveness”, is forthcoming from Mojave River Press. She is the co-editor of San Pedro River Review (


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