by Nivi Engineer
He approaches with pen and paper,
asks for my name and number.
I indulge him
his daily ritual;
I’m a stranger, after all
and he, gracious host,
offers donuts I refuse.
So to this small request, how can I say no?
He writes my name
then—digit by digit—jots it down,
a number he hasn’t dialed in months,
a quest for connection,
a map to a road he’ll never drive.
But tomorrow, I know,
he may discover the paper in the pocket
of the pants he’s reluctant to change.
And if I’m here when he does it,
he’ll at least marvel at the coincidence.
But this time,
“Whose child are you?”
I reply, watching his face.
And the joyous smile, the marvel,