Father & son board the train, take a seat diagonal from him. Son pushes up his spectacles with a tiny index finder as a smile missing teeth spreads upward to his father’s weary face.
Second father and son at the next stop, son about the same age as toothless grin, sit opposite side of the car. Second son is eating a messy PB&J, father tussles son’s hair with a planted kiss to the scalp.
First father-son leave to make room for father and daughter, sit beside him. Father holding open a Little Golden Books fairy tale as he’s tracing words while reciting them to the brown eyed, cornrow sporting beauty.
Three different faces, colors, lives, all made him wish he were a father of his own. Not for the novelty of the acts but to do what the absent father couldn’t. Pass something never experienced for himself, let a little life know they aren’t alone but loved.