She was then

 

The world changed, the part that matters
to me…the part
that matters I think to
us…the us we voted for
and I’m still not sure what changed
but it all did, it all
is not the same…
…for sure.
I felt the coldness of the steel
bar stool, the shift in
the air…the bristle of others impatience
other’s ideas sitting just
minutes from
eruption…and she talked
it wasn’t me
but the bartender had her words, had
her attention
I had a beer
an idea
a minute more to stay…I borrowed
a word of hers, not
meant for me
she didn’t mind
eventually she told me
she was from Turkey
her smile cast shadows
while lighting
inside parts of me
and another patron argued
he and his friends were angry
afraid,
they felt cheated and alone, his words
came from a greying beard
an untrusting eye
I tried to atone, to change the
trajectory…assert that change
was the only certainty
he said I couldn’t…I was too
white
male
rich
all of that, so I couldn’t know
fear
anger
alone
but I did before that day
before I borrowed a word, felt
a brightness inside
briefly
she was then as she is now
and while it all changed
some things
got very much
better.

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