On one of my bus trips to New York for events at Teachers College, I had a simple experience. It might not be worth mentioning, but it was at a time when I felt pretty alone in the world. A stranger, who was totally unaware of the moment, reminded me of the ways just human contact helps. I attempted to get my words to match the feeling and know that they are not yet quite adequate, but here goes:
We boarded the bus one-by-one
To be ferried to the city.
The seat next to me was empty.
Secretly, I hoped it would stay that way.
At the last minute
a young man boarded
and with ease of youth sat down by me.
He unpacked iPod, portable DVD, magazine, and journal.
We sat then, two-by-two–
as though mates, but not.
In the modern way,
I suppressed my questions,
dutifully avoided eye contact, and
carefully kept to my space.
when he slept,
his foot touched mine.
I felt warmth through my shoe
and did not stir.
5 thoughts on “March 19, 2017”
You lead me to an unexpected place. We all need to feel connected to someone…anyone…when we are at our loneliest.
Isn’t it something? I loved the pacing here. I can’t help but talk to people, at least a little. Of course, that’s how a man on the subway knew I was a tourist. 🙂
When we write, we wonder if we have really said what we wanted to, we wonder if our words are adequate. I think the end of your poem did show us your feelings. Not adequately… eloquently.
Thanks for the feedback. It really helps.
So lovely. Magic moments come at the most unusual times, don’t they?