Saturday, May 20, 2017

I'll Trade Places with You

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

The blind man entered the metro car.

“Are there any empty seats?”

“No,” said the man sitting next to me,
in front of the sign that reads:

Priority Seating. Federal Law Requires
that These Seats Be Available to
Passengers with Disabilities and to
the Elderly.

Quizzically, again,

“There are no empty seats?”

“No. There aren’t any empty seats.”

He didn’t even glance up from his phone.
Didn’t look him in the eye.

Arising from my seat, the words came,

“Here. I’ll trade places with you. A little
to the left. Okay. There.”

I’ll trade places with you.

I stood, gripping the metal post, my
sight coming to rest on the clearance badge
around the neck of the face-to-phone

Veterans Affairs.

Veterans Affairs?


I couldn’t work my way to anger,
couldn’t get to a place where I could
speak my mind,

grief for this world arose so thick,
it was disabling.

I’ll trade places with you.

When did they stop teaching kids the
game in which they try to walk in
each other’s shoes?

I remember it. I had the biggest feet.


I don’t know where we are going.

There’s a part of me that wants to get off.

But, I am still standing here, holding on.


The blind man wouldn’t give up his seat.

© 2017-2018/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty" (a work in progress)
To be published by Talking Waters Press

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