I see her in the cafe She’s sitting on her own Like me. A cup of coffee Rests in front of her Lines huddle in the space between her brows They’re furrowed now In some private grief or anxiety Only her cup knows for sure As she stares into the darkness within Her lips tremble for a moment Just a bit. She takes a quick sip Of the vitalising potion Swallowing her emotions Down they both go The sadness and the coffee Lingering on the inside now I feel my heart go out to her It hovers around her table Softly, silently, wordlessly I want to follow too But we are strangers It wouldn’t do She looks up. She sees me I smile and then I look away guiltily Outside the window And then down at my own cup of tea
I see her looking at me Just a glance, a little look Then away from the nook I am sitting at But that little exchange is everything Even in that whisper Of a gaze, that smile I feel her compassion Shimmering around me Gently, silently, comfortingly I look at her as she sits there In her wheelchair Reminding me that frailty Is never on the outside Her own courage shining bright Has skipped across the room Transforming into a tenderness Shattering my spell of gloom My heart lifts and wafts out to her I want to follow after But we are strangers I turn back to my cup And I smile I hesitate just for a while And then I beam across the room to her My heart now light with gratefulness Lit up by a beautiful stranger
I’m alone … but I’m not really alone In all the ways that don’t matter That shouldn’t matter, I’m never alone In all the ways that I need someone In all the ways of being human I’m alone. There is no one.
It wasn’t always like this, this lonesomeness It came on slowly as time went by As I transitioned, nay devolved Dislodged from the blessed marital fold From a wife to a wretched divorcee From a daughter to a social deportee
I couldn’t be the woman he’d conceptualised His wife to be. Already fantasizing He was in heaven itself, spoilt for choice By the virgins lined up in waiting For him to pick one or four to be his own I got picked first, then I got disowned.
I’ve been alone these twenty five years Fading ever more into the background As time trudges on with heavy treads My aura fades, my voice has no sound I tried to talk louder at first to be heard But the booming voices of the world Were louder still, my voice was drowned
Now I sit alone marking time For when the cosmos sees fit to smile In a new welcome; in a final decline I see people but they see me not They saw me only when I came out Of the box, against the tide of tradition Then there was outrage, there was derision
I don’t go out anymore nor do I Try to be bigger than the box fitted for me I sit in it quietly, patiently Lonely oh so lonely … but not really In all the ways that shouldn’t matter Im not alone. They all watch me In all the ways that would make my heart sing I’m alone, waiting for the final curtain.