Who are we, any of us, to the casual observer?


This Man

He jumped back suddenly and left himself
standing there
Circled this man slowly, to take a look
and see what others saw
This man’s face, that in repose quiets
small children, even when his mind is
elsewhere and drifting in pleasantries
The grin this man meant to show, and
often felt, seldom broke the surface
and he wanted somehow to explain

And when this man before him reached
to touch another tenderly and understand
their heart, to share their pain with all
the love he felt, it was strange to see how
nearly that touch seemed to be a mere
tugging at the sleeve and not at all what
this man meant, at least from the look of it
Standing back, one could hardly see
his tenderness at all
and he wanted somehow to explain

And so he followed this man for a while,
mirrored the purposeful stride of himself
on the street, to see if he would stop this man,
as a stranger might and ask directions,
as if he himself were lost and searching among
the faces of passersby for a glance that held
He looked to others on the street and watched
their eyes for clues to this man who was himself,
but their eyes were closed off to him, elsewhere
and he wanted somehow to explain

Poetry Collection: Corner of My Mind
This poem is included in
Jim Freeman’s
poetry collection

CORNER OF MY MIND
available here in print
or as an e-Book
in your favorite formats.