There is a man on the bus
whispering to himself about a lost love...
"I didn't know what was happening."
And I want to say, "boy, do I understand,"
but I don't violate his whispering grief.
The man to his left is beating out time,
slapping his knee hard as he reads through a score,
and I remember cramming before choir practices.
I want to ask him what he's learning,
but I don't disturb his solo practice session.
There is the woman with the baby,
and the one who mutters angrily
so no one will approach her.
There's the man with the cane and the strange scars
who smiles to himself, quietly, privately.
Me, I'm the woman in the red hat,
with the wild brown hair playing sudoku on my phone.
I know they know me, and I know them.
We honor one another by not speaking,
playing comfortable roles in each other's lives,
steady and undemanding,
the most intimate of strangers.