Two Poems

by Michael Estabrook

the most unremarkable person

A man from
India (or Pakistan or Bangladesh) his glasses
clinging to the end of his long nose.
A black man carrying a baby like a football.
A shriveled old Jewish
man with his black hat and great
hanging ears. One woman in a worn
orange sweater, another with
a beautiful, wide, sweet smile. A business
man on the phone
“I’m in Chicago still, damnit,”
and another, fat and tired,
swilling down a last beer.
A young man squishing his big red
greasy face up against
the pleasant pretty face of a young woman
trying to kiss her, I suppose.
And then there’s me, leaning
on a white pole, back and feet aching,
waiting for the plane, unnoticed
in this crowd of travelers
like a pebble on a rocky shore.

The old guy with the one good arm, and the one good leg

I don’t see him at the pool today
so I use “his”
locker. Then while
I’m in the shower I notice him
standing there, one hand on
his walker, his disheveled swim bag
open on the floor beneath him.
He’s staring confusedly
at “his” locker with my lock
on it, bending to have a closer look,
pointing at it, flicking at it with
his finger, making a comment
to Harry and Frank.
But what can I do? I
didn’t know he’d be here today.
He was late.
I slink from the shower into the pool,
finish my swim fast
to beat him out of the pool
and out of the shower
and be done with his locker and leave.
But I’m not fast enough.
I glimpse him ambling quickly
towards me like an old
three-legged dog, dragging that
useless leg behind,
his one good arm outstretched,
beckoning, as I snatch-up my wet suit
and goggles and make
my get-away.

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