Should I stumble, as I am most certainly to do, pay no attention
to the rip on my trousers, or swollen bruise on my knee. I have many
more scars, and they have become a better part of who I am. As if
character marks on the surface of the antique table, or the
cumulative incidental nicks and scratches on a ’61 Telecaster
lessen the intended beauty and purpose.
If I fall, and you discover me in the gutter, I will not need assistance
returning to my feet, but would appreciate
a hankie to dust off my skin, and perhaps a fresh bandage
to mask the blood spilling from within.
When, at a street corner, I seem stalled or uncertain, please
pass me by. There is no need for directions, as
I am probably just deciding if it is choice or a chance. We come
across many paths, and they all move forward. I have an idea
where I am going, and might later become sidetracked,
or choose a cross street. You would be best thinking
I will someday find my destination, than feeling you had led me astray.
It’s not that I am above asking if uncertain, but
I would find it more purposeful
to step ahead unknowingly, than to have you feel a burden
Should we cross paths again, and you find me in repose, or
a terminal state of confusion, you would be better off continuing
along the cracked sidewalk. It is not that I wouldn’t enjoy the company,
it’s just that I cannot answer your why. Share a smile, however.
I do collect moments, as souvenirs,
and what better way to remember anybody
than to know you shed a little light.
Later, when you catch sight of me in a park; on the bench;
under a tree, near that fountain, with my camera, or a journal,
please leave me to my silence. Know that poetry
is having its way with me, and I have already shared
the crusts of my sandwich with the pigeons. Generosity comes
in many forms, and I am grateful for each of life’s experiences.
As you take in this fresh autumn chill, do not be concerned
for my welfare. I will find the warmth, as I always do.
Yet, should you feel cold, or uncomfortable, do not hesitate taking
my sweater to cover your shoulders. The garment,
like me, may be tattered and frayed, but in it you will find comfort.
Return it to me when it is no longer useful. I have others.
If I were to unexpectedly bump into you at the market,
and we are as surprised then as we had been when,
remember how we once shared something,
and we are both better off because of it.
We were not strangers, not then, not now.
© 2016 j.g. lewis
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