17:00

The world dashes about outside my window

the cold air pressing its nose against the pane.

I sit in near silence, warming my hands and face and toes.

My driver is sweet and obliging,

talking of weather and daily generalities.

In his speech I detect an accent, 

sleeping among the English words,

tingeing them in a strange hue.

He asks me a question, and I reply,

“Je comprends ce que tu dit.”

His eyes dart to me in the rearview mirror,

a new light shining in them,

the light that bursts forth in recognition of a kindred spirit.

A moment later, the dam erupts and words strung together

trip over each other in his haste to hear his mother tongue.

Rapid fire, back and forth we send our comments.

How much I’ve missed this language,

this tongue as familiar as my own. 

The conversation ends abruptly

when at my destination we’ve arrived,

I’m at loathe to leave and still I bid farewell

in the hopes that I have raised his spirit,

and given joy to a man who might otherwise

be seen as incoherent.

-22

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