Friday, July 8, 2011

a gentleman

a retarded man
offered me his place on the
A train today. "Miss!"

he whoops as i board.
"Miss! Right here!" so excited,
he leaps from his seat.

"Or should I say Mom?!"
he takes my arm, and weaves us
through an upset crowd.

for several stops
we talk about baseball, football,
and coney island.

or rather, he talks,
as i know nothing of these.
soon the train slows and

he gathers his things,
a collection of plastic
bags, books and sundries.

"Boy or girl?" he asks,
his face alive with joy and
interest. "A girl."

"Oh, girls are the best!"
he calls over a frowning
woman as he leaves.


blue roses said...

this poem made me simultaneously excited and happy and sad....

17 beats. said...

i know. this man was a burst of kindness gracing the gash of sadness that usually accompanies a rush-hour subway ride. what killed me was the sour, rude, shitty attitude that everyone else had.

Christina said...


Heather said...

love this I do so many of yours! I took the A train many times growing up and remember similar moments of openness and, even, be it through kids are the disabled.... met with blank stares or outright hostility. Despite the reactions of the other passengers, your reaction, and your poem is so heartwarming and dear. I reposted it on my blog...hope that's okay. It's wonderful.