Saturday, July 3, 2004

Chivalry During the Day

On way to work
Streetcar caught
Three cars from posted stop.
I see her
At corner
Waiting patiently.
Short, not just with age,
But certainly age
Must be taken into account.
Dressed in run-down, over-run running shoes
And tattered track pants.
Arms covered with
Light jacket zipped up to neck
Against record-cool
August morning.
This woman holds
A doll in her arms.
A baby doll. It’s dressed
In old-fashioned lace bonnet
And cotton gown, gray and dingy
With age and neglect.
But this woman holds her doll
With care, gently against
Her shoulder,
Pats it and coos to it
Then as streetcar advances at last
She carefully walks up to door,
Hand on door rail,
P-u-l-l-s herself up steps.
She shyly displays pass
And puts it back into jacket pocket.
Streetcar lurches forward,
Woman stumbles, is helped to seat
By grubby old man
Himself not too steady on his pegs.
He gives up his own seat
At front of car:
Place reserved by law
For age-ed and infirm.
She sits and brings baby doll
To rest in crook of arm
With quiet cooing
And there, there sounds.
Old guy makes way to back of crowded car,
Stands for rest of journey.

Office building is place
Of pre-press technology.
Artists work elsewhere.
Here we are Mac operators.
Returning from big printer downstairs
With Jim, customer service rep,
I walk along back corridor
And see another woman.
This one exits washroom.
Tall, maybe not from youth,
But certainly youth
Must be taken into account here.
Her tallness is emphasized
By long legs.
They go all the way up.
They're slim and really long
And they're walking
With bounce and abandon
And, did I say?
They go all they way up…
To a very mini
Pink little swingy skirt.
But… what’s this?
The back of the little postage-stamp skirt
Is caught in top of underpants!
She moves on and I wonder
If I can catch up
And warn her
Before she gets back to
More populated areas.
Suddenly she reaches back
And frees skirt from panites.
She looks around
Laughs, blushes.

In the instant...
Jim moves swiftly forward
Beyond embarrassment.
A gentlemanly gesture,
Or embarrassment of his own?
Of course he saw.
Does she know he saw?
I approach and compliment
Her swift recovery
And beautiful
Bright purple of underpants.