Those twenty dollars missing from your wallet
remind you of the moment when you slipped
them in your wallet, thinking of something
else. These are the absent moments.
You touch yourself for hints of reassurance:
no wallet! Blood rushes from your face.
You find it though—it's in a different pocket.
A narrow brush. These are the precious moments.
A blind panhandler taps you on the shoulder.
Absently, you pull your wallet from your
pocket, comb yourself for change. He thanks
you very much. He taps you on the shoulder,
hands you back your twenty dollars. Blood
rushes to your face. You thank him very much.
These were the missing moments. All is well
until he taps you on the shoulder, hands you back
your wallet. Blood rushes to your face. A close
escape. You thank him very much. Arriving home,
you're missing twenty dollars. You comb your wallet.
You can't remember. Blood rushes from your face
and fills your pockets. These are the narrow moments.
Able Muse Press
Copyright © 2013 by Ellen Kaufman
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission