I retired from the SUNY Buffalo English Department in 2004. Have published a dozen or so collections of poems. Such my addiction to the sport of squash racquets my headstone is to read: "ONE MORE GAME?" See more of my poems HERE.
And arrives where all are strangers, all
are kind. He thinks, We are familiar, surely,
since they are kind, and yet seem strangers
--- or I am someone other than I think,
myself the only stranger.
They come close
now with smiles and offerings, with large
sounds, with faces luminous and vague,
with gestures inviting one to sit down,
to dine, to take one's ease, to stay
among them or, if one chooses, to leave
in peace, but later, later on. He thinks it
endlessly, teasingly perplexing; he asks,
Whom do they find so lovable? Someone
they are awaiting? Am I that person?
And believes himself an impostor
imposing, a grabber of gifts intended
for others, but senses afterward
how impersonal their kindness, how
profound their courtesy, that they should
have greeted him as brightly had he been
This is reposeful, a final
kindness, a tact, not to require response
and answers. If there was another life,
he hardly remembers it now, or if
he came this way on a particular
errand, and cannot declare for certain
this is the place he started for.
His gestures mean to say, No matter,
I will not oppose your kindness or stay
estranged or go away from you ever.
© 2018 Irving Feldman
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