A neighbor thanked me for a simple kindness,
restaurant takeout my diet wouldn’t allow.
So off I went, the food still fresh and hot,
to find a someone who needed sustenance
more than i.
He was young, wary, browned, and thin,
as one might expect from stranded youth.
He greeted me with a cautious smile—
measuring me, and what game I played.
I told him my tale as best I could, and mentioned
the restaurant where the meal had been prepared.
He studied me with understanding eyes and
politely corrected my pronunciation,
as he might his grandfather stumbling
over an incoherent rap song line.
He took my offering and traded his thanks.
A grin played his lips, a joggled memory perhaps.
Taken aback, I managed, “Yes, that’s the place,”
and went on my way, never too old to learn.
. . . j
from the Childhood Remedy and Other Such collection