Whispering in her usual tone
Of quiet places and
Releasing those clanging heavy chains of everyday
Until you slip into welcome peace
Amongst the calming aroma of herbs and spices that surrounded your head in Autumns past
Let her words carry you into the heart of freedom
Easing the vessel of your being to a new state
Where we rest with impunity.
Carolina was talking to me on the train home. I was listening to music so pulled my headphones down to hear what she was saying.
I had seen her give a handful of change to a homeless guy who was walking through the carriage asking out loud for just an extra dollar. There was something in her face and her presence, an energy that I connected with on some level.
She was talking clearly, but I struggled to understand through the African-American accent and slightly incoherent concepts. But she was kind and I listened, smiled and gave her my full attention over the train noise.
I asked her name. Then told her I would name this poem I just wrote after her.
Suddenly my stop came up and we both got off the train. After we walked some meters on opposite sides of the platform, I stopped, turned and waited while she lay down her bag and bunch of flowers on the slatted bench seat to wait for the connecting train. I asked how was her reading? She said good, so I offered the chance to read the poem I named for her.
Carolina looked at my phone and read my poem out loud, perfectly clear and with understanding. I sensed she appreciated it but was perhaps slightly bemused by this unusual experience.
She grabbed her pen and started tagging the steel posts with “TO SEM”. The meaning of these words, over and over, was lost to me.
Turning and leaving, I smiled over this interaction with a stranger. I don’t know just how much we connected, and whether she will remember the poem a stranger gave her on a train. I wonder whether she will be ok in time, not that she wasn’t during this shared time, but just because I care.
Carolina took a little part of my heart that I willingly offered her. And I wonder whether maybe the world will be just a little brighter because of this.