The Passing of Strangers - Vistior's Poem

by Rene Bartolo
(Davao City, Philippines)

The passing of strangers

Leaves always a trail
Of gentle words unsaid...

Of kindness unwrought
In silver pieces
Unfingered, unseen...

Of leaden faces laden
By silent needs,
Framed back against
The sun-choked glass
Panes in a bus station...

Heaving
In plodding cadence,
Of hearts
That may have shed
Some lukewarm tears.

The passing of strangers
Tears quietly
A little bit off me
Each time.

A moment too soon,
That passing moment
Stays a tender thought
In mid-air;
Slaughters a smile
Before it reaches
The final creases
Of meaning
And flips aside
A neutral pain.

In between intimacies I pass,
A stranger to myself.

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