I didn’t know you’d had your fill of failure,
that sitting made a plane you wouldn’t fall from.
I didn’t see your smile as movement
toward hope or back
into memory. I didn’t hear a personal music
in your mumbling. I didn’t say
I’m sorry about how things have gone
for you so far this year/decade. Or just,
here you go, man. Until
things went so wrong for someone I love.
Over the months, watching him settle and heal,
getting how the margins in which he sees grew
and how he cares for “strangers” now
in ways that bring instant heat to my hands
and face, I learned to feel/say
what takes so little: I see a story
in you. I wish you well and want this token
to aid you as you go. And I know
the difference isn’t profound for you.
It’s about me in the world. I know.
#13 of 30 poems in 30 days for National Poetry Writing Month, April 2017