Poem 2: fall 2000



It's OK
Maybe you didn't see me
Cruising the speed limit in the left lane
Coming up alongside your Lexus
With the gold embossed letters
And strains of Bach drifting through your windows
On that Sunday morning

That's why you cut me off
As you changed lanes
As though I did not exist
And failed to even cast a glance in my direction
At the stop light
Where we were equal… for a moment

It's OK
You probably didn't see me
Standing at the Sears catalog counter
In line ahead of the guy with the bad hair piece
And pink golf shirt with the little alligator on the pocket
That's probably why you waited on him first
Without looking at me

You neglected to apologize
For your oversight
Even though I'm 6'4" and 250
Pretty hard to overlook
Unless you try really, really hard
Which you did – successfully

It's OK
You might not have noticed me
The last fifty-nine times I shopped in your store last year
And that's why you asked for…
No, demanded
Two forms of ID

The scraggly white guy ahead of me
With the tattered two party check
That he pulled from his sock
Through the hole in the ankle
And the smell of Muscatel on his breath
Was – somehow – a more valued customer – than I

It's OK
That the presentation I prepared
For the committee of experts
That had less cumulative experience
Than I possess singularly
Was deferred… indefinitely
To a meeting sometime next year

You wonder why my jaws
Are visibly tight beneath my smile
Or that I squeeze your hand extra hard
In a handshake
Until your knees buckle
Then silently walk away

Just be glad
That I silently walk away

Just thank God
That I silently walk away

© Ken Haynes, sometime in 1998

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