an old friend of yours
at the butcher shop today
I knew him by his voice
a cadence like yours
responding to his son
the way you did
the way I still do
it was his face that had me confused
once I turned around to look.
he brushed by
and I circled around again
to see if I could match
the voice to the face, to the eyes
it was him
but I didn't ask. I didn't stop,
my hand on his arm, gentle,
saying his name
imagining he would know
just by touch
He looked past me
not only not recognizing me as me,
but not registering another person at all.
Game face. City face.
"typical," you'd say. "a little arrogant."
It shook me a little, in a nice way, almost.
to be so close to someone who knew you so well
and I regret now
that I didn't stop
to put my hand gently on his arm
and call you close to us again,
happy birthday babe. we miss you. we all miss you.
a whole lot of us silent and silently
we all miss you