Didn’t know His name

I only heard the news in
slices

died.
didn’t_like_something_said.
Shot.  Killed.

I didn’t know His name.

But knew His face.
His smile.
The way He shook
His head
at customers who were daft.

Like the guy who rushed
to the counter behind me
as I waited to order and said without waiting
“Can I order a bagel
with cream cheese.”

And He said, “sure”
and the would-be customer said thanks
and
sat back down in a dazed,
self-important rush.

And He looked at me and 
I at Him
and we both said

at the same time

“Sure. If you stand
here
and order it.”

We laughed.

He had a great laugh.

And He’s dead.
And I didn’t know His name.

That makes me sad.
Almost as sad as not seeing that
smile again;
Not seeing him reach
for a
plain croissant
before I asked.

I wish his family to know
He mattered to someone
who didn’t know His name.

Still,
I drove home
wondering about the hand that pulled
the trigger

Did he lose a piece of his
soul
in that small, less-than
a second?

Sliced off,
perhaps
like words
that fall to the ground

still

as I recall hearing this horribly
awful
sad
news.

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About TinaLBPorter

I write poetry and blog at www.tinalbporter.com. And I'm thrilled to be writing with you.
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4 Responses to Didn’t know His name

  1. Yeah, Ms. Kitty – I’m pretty sure UUMomma is referring to the ever-ebullient Charles from the Medici Bakery. He served coffee and pastries with a smile, a joke, and the occasional good-natured ribbing for folks who would come in with a refillable cup from Starbucks. It’s very sad to think of never seeing his broad grin, or hearing him sing along with the radio again.

    I will always remember the first day I brought in my UUSC Equal Exchange cup for my coffee. He looked at it, did a double-take, and grabbed it to show someone else back in the bakery. He made the Med Bakery a friendly place, made it feel like a community place, not just a place to dash in for a coffee and muffin and back out again.

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  2. mskitty says:

    Oh dear, this is someone you both knew, it sounds like. I’m so sorry.

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  3. Kaleigh says:

    Wow.

    It’s amazing how many people really do make a difference in our lives, and how we miss them all the time.

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  4. Yeah – he used to give customers who came in w/ Starbucks cups a lot of grief… but he liked my Equal Exchange cup.

    He will be missed.

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