An Encounter

People talk to me everywhere;

on the train, in the supermarket,

at the beach, in the park.

It may be my face, I don't know

People, strangers, just tell me things,

but why must they tell me everything?

Once I stopped to question

an old man about his dog.

He turned to me, a sad look on his face. "Its my son's dog," he said,

"he died today."

His heart was broken.

I sat next to him on the bench

and he held my hand

and sobbed out his story;

I listened, nodding, letting him talk,

helplessly whispering comforting phrases. The dog pressed against his knees and whimpered. I think he was heartbroken, too.

All I could do was pet the dog and

hold the old man's hand.

I watched him walk away, hoping I'd helped. I never forgot him.

Everywhere I go people still talk to me; now I try to hear what they're saying.

Ellie Ferejohn Maziekien

 

3/29/2000

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