Tomato

Tomato,
though juice or soup or exactly what type,
I could not tell,
must have caused the large red stain
on the back of his shirt.
How it got there, I cannot guess.
Nor do I choose to imagined
what might have caused
the crusted stains
that covered
the sweat pants
sagging below his waist,
revealing his buttocks.
I avert my gaze
and plod on.
Slowly as I walk,
he shuffles even more slowly up the ramp toward forty-deuce.
But as I pass him,
it’s like a neon light appears –
words flashing over and over:
some mother’s child
some mother’s child
some mother’s child.
At the station door, I turn,
face him,
smile.
Making eye contact for a moment,
he nods.

Observed in Grand Central Station
May 2011
Written
11 May 2011
Swiss International Air Lines 022

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