War memorial in 30th St. train station, Philadelphia

the statue is a point of stillness in the midst of bored and nervous travelers waiting for their train while slouching on the benches or pacing. Those waiting to meet someone getting off a train eagerly look at each passenger emerging from the stairwell from below and then just as quickly shift their gaze to the next person, until they see the one they're looking for.


an angel lifts the body of a war casualty. the male soldier, naked except for a loin covering, has his legs limp, the feet together, as in the crucifixion. but instead of the arms outstretched on a cross, the shoulders and hunched as the angel supports the heavy body by lifting under the arms, which hang down limply on each side. the man's head droops on onto one shoulder, his eyelids closed.


the angel has a contemplative and melancholy look as it lifts, and its huge wings close together behind its back, seemingly at the rest point after being powerfully pumped. the feathers touch, beginning a new pump to heft the heavy body's ascent, to start a benediction.


train announcements over the intercom....


do we ever remember faces we pass over while looking for someone else?



a different memorial,
from a rural graveyard:





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