As he fed the pigeons
I couldn’t help but wonder
what he did at other times
of the day.
In my young mind
he couldn’t be rich
or why would he
be wasting time on a bench?
His shoes, well scuffed,
but not “disgraceful”
as the nuns used to say,
gave a “been somewhere” impression
While tying his right shoe lace,
his rising eye caught mine.
He raised his hand with the brown bag of food
as though to say “feed the birds with me”
and smiled the grin of the wise.
I’d wished to avoid his eyes;
hadn’t enough time to greet that face.
I was on my way to another place.
No time to greet that face
face of time and peace
mug of contentment lacking in guile.
I’d stayed and returned his smile.
© Kathryn McL. Collins