Who are you?
A mostly-smoked cigarette dangles from your fingers,
Which are swollen from dehydration and festering scrapes.
A wispy, pencil-thin blonde mustache
Trails over your grimacing, muttering mouth.
Your grey, ratty sweatshirt and jeans hang from your limbs
And your face sinks back into the over-sized hood,
Hiding your sharp and nervous light-green gaze
That darts around the train,
While you yell to the driver to "Get this fucking thing moving!"
And tell the guy next to you that this is the first night you will ever
Ride the line all the way to the beach.
I had my keys between my fingers
And my pepper spray in my fist
Because when you followed me onto the train,
It made me nervous.
When you didn't follow me off at my stop,
I let go of a breath I didn't realize I was holding.
Then I wondered,
Who were you?
You were once someone's little boy.
You were once a child
Without worldly battles and wounds -
A child with innocent hands, innocent lungs, innocent eyes.
I hope you were a child who knew love,
Who had carefree days,
Who felt cherished and adored.
As much as I prayed for protection
From the moment you gruffly said hello at the train stop
And sat on the bench right next to me
Instead of the other open seats,
A small voice reminded me that you were once childlike
And that you are still cherished and adored.
Peace be with you.