It was just a photo, that’s all
just a photo
of a young man in uniform hanging in a frame in a living room window.
What was it about that photo that grabbed at my heart?
What was it about that photo that created a deep chasm in my soul?
What was it about that photo that brought tears to my eyes
and gripped my chest so I couldn’t breathe?
It couldn’t be named.
I only knew that
my soul had been touched
my mind raced
my emotions felt
and I understood them not.
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the salute.
The car’s driver saluted the photo quietly, quickly, calling no attention to himself.

For a moment, he was in another world
… a world that connected him to this young man
… a world that united them as siblings of conflict
… a world that reminded him of the fragility of life and the happenstance of circumstance.
He in the photo, eighteen or so.
He in the car, old enough to be grandfather.
And yet, for that one brief moment, they were brothers.
Salutes happen all the time every day, on every land, in every continent.
But this one …
this one was different.

© june maffin

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