free poems

I went upstate again today for some further house-buying investigation. This time I took the bus.

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Photo courtesy of brilarian on flickr.

Leaving New York by bus mostly involves going through the Port Authority terminal which is vile – an urban level of Dante’s inferno designed specifically for human discomfort.

I was standing in line waiting to board and a soft-spoken young man wearing a white cap and carrying a backpack approached me. “Free poems,” he said, holding out a sheet of paper from the stack of photocopies he was carrying. Out of habit I shook my head and he moved on to the next person, who also shook their head. Everybody turned him away.

I wish now that I had said yes. He was so gentle and he wasn’t selling anything; he was giving away his poem. I wish I had accepted it.

8 Responses to “free poems”

  1. jude Says:

    what is happening to us?

  2. Julia Says:

    With the constant bombardment of ads ,on the street, on tv ,even phone calls to disturbing the peace and quiet of home;it sometimes feels like everybody’s trying to sell something….it’s so easy to switch off to it all.I know I do and who knows what I’m missing…
    Hope your trip helped with your thoughts on a move.

  3. Liza Says:

    I totally understand both the initial reaction and the regret. And I do wonder what has happened to us to make it so hard to respond to what was probably a genuine attempt to share art. (I can’t even write the sentence as if I am sure that it was….)

  4. Katy Says:

    My heart goes out to you both. Reminds me of the Washington D.C. experiment (last summer?) when the famous violinist performed and no one stopped to listen. Or when Rob Brezny stands on a corner with his giant sign “I love to give! Please take some free money!” and tries to hand out $20 bills.

    Good reasons for me to move upstate with you…..

  5. Barb Says:

    Hmmmmm. We’ll never know.

  6. Ellen Says:

    HA!! I TOOK the guys poem, going against the protective voice telling me I ought to not do it… just last week!!! Then, I read it aloud to him. He corrected some of my pauses by reading it back to me. I asked him some of the meanings of the words, the poem was about God it turned out. Then we talked about God. We had very different interpretations which I noted…then my train arrived…the end.

  7. boodely Says:

    That’s so awesome!! I love that you met him too. Small town, New York.

  8. Barb Says:

    I’m so glad!!! Now we DO know. 🙂

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