I read your obituary in today’s paper,
in the life section next to book reviews
and the New York’s Best Seller List,
and wondered who would ever think
you were actually dead.
Just yesterday, we stood in line at the local bakery,
calling the baker for a free sample
of chocolate chip cookies. Crumbs fell from
our drooling lips, people stared
at us like we were little children. I hid
behind your stiff frame, laughing as
you tried to speak with your mouth full.
Today, I happened to catch you in between
an old couple brushing hands
as they strolled the neighborhood, eyes beaming
as if the sudden touch
happened for the first time.
You got out of the way when they linked hands,
fell into a stranger’s yard
and was swept away by the owner’s leaf blower.
We met in the corner
of my third grade classroom,
radiating from the shelf,
you had a yellow ageless kind of smile.
You found your spot on top of our graded papers,
floating from the dusty shelf into our teacher’s arms—
into the lives of twenty five curious children.
I looked for you in my morning commute,
hoping to find you nearby—
behind a book or on an LED screen.
Instead, I found you everywhere.
Pieces of you floating into a woman’s hair,
grazing a child’s cheek, and waking up a tired waitress.
They all looked up in wonder
at the still air, questioning what aroused
their sudden attention. You danced down
the subway cart, continuing to bring my attention
to unsuspecting passengers. I watched
and laughed as I jotted down each moment, each person
thinking how amazing it must be
to see life through your brilliant eyes.