10 Minutes

I remember
The dim lights of the lamppost
The thick aroma of nicotine sticks
The blaring sound of sirens
Followed by the ambulance
Throttling through red lights in a hurried fashion
The deliberate crawl of a patrol car
With its profiling eyes
Unabashedly shifted in our direction

I remember
The crowd
Huddled together
Just outside of the building
Animated hand gestures
Fluctuating tones
As the conversation
Effortlessly shifted
From topic to topic

I remember
The interruptions
By invisible beaten souls
Passing by
Long enough to make a simple request
Preceded by an elaborate story
Of unfathomable circumstance
“You got some change you can spare?”
“You got a cigarette I can borrow?”
“You got a cellphone I can use?
Just before they drifted
Back into the dark shadows

I remember
The tacit acknowledgment
Of old Jim Crow laws
As the same pig as before slithered by
Hiding behind the flood light
His message?
Too many “Nigg*rs” congregating
In one location

I remember
To the rhythmic sounds
Of hand slaps
Brief hand shakes
Man hugs
Two finger salutes
Honest head nods
and the words
“Stay up brother”
“Be safe out there aight”
As we quietly walked to our cars
In pairs

I remember
Drifting in from nowhere
Just as I was getting ready to open my door

I remember
For ten minutes
Time stood still
The interruptions ceased
The sirens stopped blaring
The pigs stopped profiling
And we stood there
Pouring out our soul
Before parting ways

I remember
Every single word
We shared
And his first love

I remember him saying
This is the first time
He’s felt human in months
The first time
Anyone has listened in years
The first time
He hasn’t felt hopeless
In forever

I remember
Every single word
But I can’t remember him
I can’t remember his eyes
His complexion
His height
His weight
His mannerisms
I can’t even remember
The sound of his voice

..and still
I recall his story of survival
When the going gets tough

..and still
I wonder
If he’s out there

..and still
I wonder
If I would I recognize him
When we crossed paths again

..and still
I wonder
Has his life made a turn
For the better
Like they always do in those tear jerking movies

It was only ten minutes
But it was long enough
To leave a lifetime impression

I think about him often
Pray for him daily
Send positive energy
Into the Universe
Hoping it will somehow
Make its way
To him,
The man,
Whose soul spoke to me
Whose face I can’t remember
Because he was invisible


About Sean King

Husband, Father, Writer, Philosopher, Humanitarian

Posted on December 21, 2011, in Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. That was to hot. Love it.

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