it doesn’t matter where.
Misfortune someplace else
has stranded people here.
Everyone wears the blank look
of not those not getting
where they meant to be today.
Except for one young boy,
short dark hair, eyes filled
with fear and incipient tears.
Are you looking for someone?
He nods. “My Dad.” Let’s look
together. He hesitates,
then agrees to let me take the lead.
What’s your father wearing?
“Blue vest. Green shirt.” I scan
the waiting crowd. No luck.
Where would you be going?
He blinks. “Maybe Portland?”
I do what’s obvious to any parent,
locate an agent at a gate.
This young man’s Dad is lost.
She puts an arm around him,
reaches for a microphone.
I am dismissed, my part clearly done,
yet I resist disconnection. Later,
I see him sitting beside his father,
looking out the window at planes,
arriving and departing. I missed
their reunion. Did the son hug his Dad?
Did the father lecture or scold?
I think not. After today, they may
keep better track of each other,
more aware of how easy it is
to misplace what matters.
As for me, why do I feel as though
I have saved my own life?