When I Am Late by P. Christine Schmidt

It is in the way she speaks with

Boston seared into her words.

Her pigeon-toes peering outward

Level with earth’s soils and concrete.

She calls me out and it is everything to say,

When I’m late, you notice me.

The secret there is nothing greater

To me in any moment than 

Her two beautiful brown eyes gazing

Toward me, with care or frustration;

It does not matter.

When I’m late, you notice me.

Oh such a small part of me! So I tell her. 

So she knows; will always know.

I wish her to see all of me, but

If it be just this little bit, it’s enough for me.

Her smile…it is all in her smile –

So warm and caring; 

Generous in its breadth

I think as I arrive just to see her.

She calls me out again, and I stutter.

When I’m late, you notice me.

When she speaks, I believe it is to me.

Always and forever, it is to me

Whom she speaks, and I listen;

For the world depends upon it.

She invites me to sit with her –

To hear how colored pencils are for doodling.

Nothing else will do. She is speaking to me.

I hear everything like magnet to steel.

Steel is strong and centered and Zen, and

When I’m late, you notice me.

She knows all of this and thinks I understand

The line we cannot cross.

I nod agreement to avoid what cannot be said –

She is right. But she can’t be. I do not believe it.

For she is everything! She knows I still dream

One day for her to notice everything

Like I notice her black hair and smart words –

Everything she says valuable; a lesson; wisdom unleashed.

So, I am late again, pretend it was the phone, but no, it is

When I am late, you notice me.

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