The following poem was written in response to a prompt from the blog One Single Impression and the lovely Jingle for Monday's Potluck at Jingle Poetry.
Sticky graham cracker crumbs
decorate the boy's round face
and he reaches inside his overalls
to stash some for later, presumably.
He looks mischievious enough to be a "Dylan"
or possibly an "Oliver"--the angelic smile
and intrusiveness as he grabs
the laces of my worn out Nikes
A lethargic woman in an a juice-stained dress
bends to scold.
A mother? (No, she seems too patient)
A caregiver, maybe?
Her disheveled head lifts toward me
she gives me an apologetic shrug
While her fingers dig in her knock-off clutch
for a quick ransom
Upon delivering a dented Matchbox car
she purrs in his ear,
"We don't play with stranger's shoes..."
Strands of hair have come loose from her ponytail
and encircle her face like a halo,
floating independently of one another
revealing maternal haste and practicality
Averting my eyes politely,
I stare at the graham cracker shape
left on the carpeted floor.
An awkward silence.
I become acutely aware of the sound
of sighing and wheezing from one of them
(Leftover from a winter cold, perhaps?)
The blinking numbers rise steadily.
After a brief pause,
our trio is saved by the "ding" of the bell.
I step out of the elevator
While marveling at humanity's complex nature
And curious interactions
with red-headed boys
I will never know their names.