The Lowly Sympathiser
There she was, brain like a hurricane,
and a story that could have filled
a hundred pages of a book.
She was sobbing like a cinema crowd
watching “Mildred Peirce”
and her arms stretched to all continents
but settled on me.
Her legs shook down to feet
as bare as a corpse in an autopsy,
while the wind under her sleeveless dress
kept her knees at bay.
She ran on about the man she never
should have married,
tongue slipping from one fault of his to the next,
and my stuttered replies felt disembodied,
while my hands were out of practice,
hadn’t been sympathetic in years.
But she was all dark
and I was a cheap department store flashlight.
“Maybe in the next life,” she sighed,
“I won’t be so stupid.”
Meanwhile, in this life,
she needed someone to be there
and that was me.
I just happened to be there
and that was me also.