Pennsylvania Station

I saw her on the platform

sitting waiting for the train

the same as I remembered

little changed from Soho days

We spent our days in Soho

loving through the afternoons

but we wanted very different lives

too great a gulf to compromise

and so we went our separate ways

our paths now crossing for a moment

‘neath the Pennsylvania clock


That’s how I remember it.

She maybe saw it different.


She saw me too and smiled at me.

“How are you!” A warm embrace

two former lovers face to face.

And it felt so good to see her

while looking every bit the part

a successful and established man

heading home to wife and child.

Over coffee in the diner

we caught up on years gone by

She never saw me in a suit

remembering the sax instead

playing blue notes Friday nights.

Still composing sharps and flats?

Trading gains and option rights.

And what of music your first love?

She knew what made me happiest

the music I had given up.

The publication of her novel

New York Times best seller list

My marriages and children

water under all the bridges

while fingers touched across the table

until the time for her to go.

And as she kissed me on the cheek

she saw that look upon my face

and put her fingers to my lips

to quiet words I ought not say

whispered in my ear “Be happy”

disappearing in the crush.

And when I lost her in the crowd

I knew what I had missed the most

I missed her boundless faith in me

that made me feel

when she was near

so much more than what I was.

That she could see

what I might be

even when I couldn’t.

Her boundless faith went with her

when we parted long ago

leaving me to doubt my choices

pondering the road I traveled

a moment from The Way We Were

with me as Hubbell Gardiner.

That night I played my saxophone

dreaming dreams that might have been

if I had been as brave and bold as she.





About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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13 Responses to Pennsylvania Station

  1. beetleypete says:

    I love ‘Cry Me A River’. The Julie London version, of course. A very nice memory Frank.
    Best wishes from England. Pete.


    • toritto says:

      Pete -Heehee. NOT a memory. Totally made up!




      • beetleypete says:

        In that case, I happily confess to being ‘sucked-in’. I should have noted the ‘Way We Were’ tag more carefully. Good fiction indeed.
        Regards, Pete.


      • toritto says:

        Pete – And I love the Julie London version too but the piece talks about me playing the sax – which I don’t play either. I did play a cool stringed bass when I was young! 🙂



  2. joseluisgomez says:

    Reblogged this on Arte y Cultura Perú.


  3. chicagoguy12 says:

    Beautifully done Frank! One of the age old stories made brand new. Nice work!


  4. Beautiful. Beautiful. I even got a little teary.


  5. sojourner says:

    “Totally made up” Even the sax part?

    I spent most of my life as a composer, arranger and woodwinds side man in big bands and combos of all genres. Sax was my main instrument.

    Loved the made up story in poetic form! I saw Jodi B. in my mind’s eye, as I read this, who was a voice major and beautiful, way out of my league. And yet she approached me first, because she loved me as a musician and supported me.

    But in the end, she broke my heart!


    • toritto says:

      Yes, even the sax part! Although I did play the stringed bass. No it’s not about me but it is about a couple of friends of mine and the “one that got away” – or walked away – and meeting that lover later in life. As for “what I missed the most” – her boundless faith in me – well I married that girl!


      Here’s to Jodi, wherever she may be!


      • sojourner says:

        I wondered, as I read it, “There was another women this wonderful, too? What a luck guy Frank has been!”

        Yes, here’s to Jodi, wherever she may be, that is, beyond my mind and dreams, at points!;-)


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