VERSE | BEAUTIFUL STRANGER

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

VERSE | ALONE

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.