Little Stranger

You came along that day:
A stranger among us
And lifted your bright face
In youthful laughter.
Pure joy exudes
From your glowing eyes,
Your mouth, almost feline,
Turned up at the edges.
You laugh- loud, long, clear-
And we are powerless
To resist your charms.
At first, quiet, polite titters,
Fitting for a public place.
Then, self-conscious façades
Are broken down by your elation
And our heads tip back
As we throw ourselves backwards
In our chairs. Disregarding entirely
The cups, the plates,
The social expectations.
Then you have to leave us,
Probably never to meet again.
So we see we have snatched
A brief fifteen minutes or so
Of your life, which in three years’ time
You most likely will not recall.
As you left, you innocently offered
A gift, as though you had not already given us
So much with your mere presence.
I felt my heart flutter.
Flutter directly upwards.
That’s what caused that lump
In my throat, you see.
And we waved enthusiastically
As you speed off, warded with many layers
Against the crispness of the late afternoon air.
But you returned briefly-
A speedy escape-
To cause one final time
That odd feeling of expansion inside,
Before being forced away once more
To remain our little stranger.

The End

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