Walking Down the Street

By Diane Kendig

PROMPT—During Covid-19 ...

I am stopped by a man who wants to know

if my hat is for Navy. “No, it’s my dad’s

Army Air Corps hat,” I say, hold it at arm’s length

so he sees the B-17. “Is he alive?” he asks.

“No, he died a year ago, age 93.”

The man seems stricken, embarrassed.

“I’m so sorry.”

“Oh, don’t be,” I say. “He ‘lived to be a gray-hired

wonder.’” I don’t say “and not to have lived locked up

separated from his family, waving from windows,

while 2,000 died alone in ‘homes.’”

In echelon, we carry on.

Diane Kendig’s fifth poetry collection is Woman with a Fan. A recipient of awards from the Ohio Arts and National Humanities Councils, she has published in journals such as The Ekphrastic Review, Under the Sun, and Valparaiso Review. For decades, Kendig directed creative writing at the University of Findlay, including a prison writing program. Currently she curates, “Read + Write: 30 Days of Poetry,” for the Cuyahoga County Public Library with 7,000 subscribers. Diane writes from Canton, OH. Find her at dianekendig.com