i didn't even feel like drinking coffee,
hadn't even wanted to change my nightly routine.
yet i dutifully kissed the air around my boys,
dropped a toonie into my pocket, slipped on my flip-flops,
and drove uptown.
i scanned the coffee shop and found her,
back toward the door, watching whatever was on the big tv.
"hey, you!" we greeted each other with a hug, i bought a coffee,
and as the evening air wrapped lovely around us,
i realized i felt happy with her.
side-by-side we walked along storefronts, around parked cars,
beside tourists, past landscaped properties, under boulevard trees
and to the park. and we talked about music and we sat on a bench
and she asked me about me and i told her a few things,
but i was thinking about her. i wanted to know.
and she told me -- oh boy, did she tell me.
with face unflinching and voice sweet, she spoke words
that should never be spoken. of grandparent-hurt and mother-wrong,
of father-ugly and brother-fierce. of lover-enemies and of children-pain.
of no home and no hope -- these were the cards she was dealt.
the depth of her misfortune cannot be measured.
i cannot possibly understand, for i grew up with love that she never had.
the beauty of her soul cannot be measured.
i cannot possibly shine as brightly, for i have never lived through such dark.
she is, quite simply, a wonder.
she will never wave from her own storefront -- or even her own car.
she probably won't travel far or even landscape her own property.
but as she walks under boulevard trees and rests on park benches,
i hope that you will have the chance to meet her,
for she shines.
and, glory be, she's not Home yet.