April 7 – Silent Communication

What a subtle prompt today, to write a poem about that type of silent communication in which no words are spoken, but something is communicated just the same.  Moms give a glare to kids, couples exchange a look. It’s such a human thing. I love it. Here is my offering.

###

Commute

The small group of regulars,
here on the bus, don’t really
know each other all that well,
but they’re familiar in a
way drivers don’t understand.

Danny, who can’t drive his Porche
for at least fifteen more months
because of a DUI.

Trish and her daughters who all
work as maids at the same ho-
tel and chatter like little
wrens for the entire ride.

Gabe, who has epiliepsy,
quietly reads his paper
every morning while he
sips coffee from his thermos.

Marissa and Emily,
ride to high school, and take the
bus to avoid teasing kids
now they’re an official couple.

It is an ordinary day
with a mellow feel, and a
quiet camaraderie.

And then the angry man with
a swagger in a red base-
ball jersey gets on the bus.

The passengers give a col-
lective sigh because they know
just how it will go from here.

He will stalk the aisle, berat-
ing, trying to get someone
to engage: then he’ll attack.
They all exchange a glance, the
regulars, and silently
say with a look: be on guard.

But this time, Gabe, quiet Gabe
puts down his paper and stands
in the aisle, blocking the way.

Not one of the other ri-
ders had realized just how
big Gabe was, how intimi-
dating he was while standing.

The stranger stops, confused, un-
characteristically
unsure of what to do now.

And as Gabe fixes his gaze
on the stranger’s eyes, begins
walking up the aisle, the now
cowed stranger backpedals, he
backtracks all the way to the
front and sits silently there

And Gabe walks back to his seat
picks up his paper and takes
another sip of coffee.

The other passengers ex-
change another look, this one
of appreciation and
maybe just a little glee.

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