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2011-04-23T19:01:28-04:00April 23rd, 2011|Musings on life, Parenthood|

Outnumbered

Paint-splattered jeans
said he was waiting for the same bus
fourteen more minutes
a rough part of town
a big smile
a few teeth.

Showed me a photo of his daughter
eleven years old
he blushed when I told him
she had his pretty eyes.

Four minutes to go
two skinny men stumbled towards us
their smell reached me first
beer and dampness
they called out to him
no fellas, I got a bus to catch
he joked around with them
looked at his watch.

Two more minutes
he was outnumbered
the two of them
and his thirst
to drain it all
the dead-end painting job
the bills
the child support
the monotonous effort
of a responsible life.

He protested again
but he knew he would go.
The bus came.
He didn’t look back at me.

It would be night
when he got home
blurry anger
black hole of disappointment
he was supposed to be there
a recital maybe
he wants to explain that they stole him
the part of him that had a clean pair of pants in his bag
that got to the bus stop early
just to be sure.

But he can’t find words
in the dark
and I am not there to say
forgive him again
you’re the brightest thing in his life
he prays every day
that his eyes
are the only part of him
you got.

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