the delay
a young man
holds a single rose
behind his back
       and stands—
watching the travelers disembark.

he fidgets
with the flowered stem;
his fingers press
       the thorns;
waiting to sight the one he loves.

walk by him, then few
alone are left.
his heart is pierced with double pain.

... later that
evening, unaware,
she holds his hands;
       the wounds
of worried doubt now warm with care.

faith's tender skin heals
against his heart;
much of love's uncertain certainties.