On your worst day, I see you
slumped on the shaded seat. Your paling face
soaking slowly with red through the white.
Blond hair in a bob, falling like
a plumb line across your cheek. Perhaps
you are sleeping, or stunned by the blow
It is your worst day and I don’t know
your name. I am driving by. The lights
oscillate in red and blue behind me –
finally. A man in an untucked shirt
wanders dazed. Crazed metal shines under
that unforgiving July sun.
A moment ago I climbed sweaty
into my seat, leaving the park. You
were headed into work, maybe,
or home, an appointment, the bagel shop.
Maybe you held a cup of coffee.
Maybe someone was waiting for you.
We passed on the trail under another
hot sun, you walking and even smiling
at your friends. Maybe I nodded as
I lumbered past. Maybe I took your
parking spot in front of the Weis once.
Maybe we stood together in line.
In this one shared moment, that shining road
and that unforgiving sun, I see you.
I batten the tears with sweaty palms
because this is your worst day, and I
never knew your name or what kind of
coffee you liked and now I never will