she flew all the way across country
to see her son star in a show.
on the way to the theatre, they stopped for a pre-show dinner
in the famous los angeles eating establishment called
she ordered a 6” turkey on white.
the man who wheeled everything he owned
in the grocery store cart
came just inside the door
and called out
“hey,” flailing his arm in her direction
ambling towards her table.
the boy had gone to get some tea
at the self-serve drink machine
in the back of the restaurant.
the scraggly stranger
beckoned louder as he approached.
and when she could no longer make him invisible,
she looked up
to find her boy standing between
her and the stranger.
“you want something?” the boy asked,
making himself as large as possible.
“i just wanted to tell her something,”
the man said
looking around the boy
and speaking to her as though nobody else existed.
“i like your necklace,” he said.
“what?” she asked, stunned.
“i think that’s a very pretty necklace – I like it – and I just wanted you to know.”
then he was gone,
pushing his world
through parking lots and along sidewalks,
near large plate glass windows,
lingering on small, seemingly inconsequential things,
taking the time to let a stranger know
she’d been seen.