Sonder

To my old tutor with crow shit on his shirt

You had two shirts.

They were old but always starched clean;

sweat stains scrubbed lighter than the cloth underneath

– a sign of a hardworking man with a good wife.

You were patient with this world and the wrong

of a retired teacher having to work to keep life in line;

maybe you never cared for a bigger slice.

I’m sorry I was too young, too overcome with life

to see that suddenly, there were bags under your eyes-

no patience, no smiles.

The back of your shirt had crow shit

and dark sweat stains under the sleeves,

like something was wrong

and she was gone.

Sir, I’m sorry,

I never asked why.    


Poem written for and published at Colomboscope: Shadow scenes, August 2015

Author’s note: This is the original, unedited version bearing minor differences to the version published at Colomboscope 2015.

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