Morning Tears at The Gas Station

Laurie Benson 2022

Morning Tears at The Gas Station

Laurie Benson 2022

This morning tears come easily.

I must have felt sad another

morning when the frost was

on the ground in January.

Bodies remember this.

I sit by the fire and eat

the steel cut oats with

berries, contemplate.

Why tears?  Today is a

day of freedom, taking 

time into my hands and

molding it into anything.


Slowly the memory comes.

from years ago, maybe 

eight now, me in my car

parked at the gas station

before work.

Body heavy, many sorrows,

and wondering how I 

could do that day, any

more days with such sorrow.

Sobs came then and I leaned

over the steering wheel.

Someone knocked on my

window and startled me.

“Are you okay?” he said,

through the closed window.

I rolled it down a crack and

said yes.  Always yes.  I’m

fine.  Always fine.

“Then why are you crying?
Do you need help?”

I looked into his young

brown eyes, orange construction

vest unzipped and well-

worn work boots.

Coffee in hand, water and

a biscuit for work, he had 

Somehow noticed me, 

A woman twice his age, 

sobbing in her car.

He seemed to be the

age of my son.  Truthfully, 

then, I said, “No, I’m not okay.

I’m so worried about my


No comment from him

Just contemplation.  

He closed the lids over 

those dark eyes and a 

small frown crossed his mouth.

My mom knows how you

feel, he said.  My brother

was killed by the Mexican

Cartel.  I can’t hug her, but

maybe you need a hug?

Out of character, I agreed

and got out of the car to

hug a son of a wounded 

mother, like me.  A son

who knew that he could

watch out for another

mother, and someone would

watch out for his.

Suddenly I felt like I 

was human again, and

everything would be okay.

And now the steel cut

oats are gone, the

memory re lived, and

I will go out into this

frosty day and look

look for another

wounded someone

who needs not to

be asked, “How are you,”

But, “Are you okay?”