Poem: "Grey and Black" / by Shanelle Gabriel

He yells his description
Lets you know he knows his hair is indecisive
With its grey and black
Analyzes his reflection in the train's plastic glass
He searches for accuracy
Crow's feet
Wrinkles connected to his widows peak
He's aging naturally
Not fighting Mother Natures natural order
He speaks loudly on the train
But no eye contact is made
They fear his gaze
As if his stare could magically transfer his brand of insane
As if will agitate his haunting spirits
Or as if he's just another old man who's had too many spirits
He knows he's being ignored
They say you're a child twice in your life
And his 65 is more like 5
Just try and ignore a toddler
To see what that is like
I realize
No one is listening to his mumbles
His stammers turn into outcries
"Do you see me?
Grey and black hair?
This old man
5 foot 5?
No.
No one sees me with my grey and black hair
Grey and black beard?"
No.
No one sees that his crazy is really just his lonely
Jetting from his heart to mind
To his lips
To the deaf ears,
Numb tongues of a rush hour 3 train
With souls like the G train at 5am
Empty
Only show up when they feel like it Unconcerned about anyone else trying to get by.
I scream at my feet to carry my throat closer to him
So he could hear the hi
The good morning I think he really wanted
But I make my seat's comfort into a safety belt
He leaves the car a stop later
His lingering presence leaves this train haunted
By the fact that near none of us can say
That in this jam packed
Kindergartener crayola box of a city
You've heard many a passerby
Wish a stranger a good day.