The Answer

Between myself & the two-year-old girl

four rows down on the bus there’s a wondering

for long seconds. She leans coated & cradled

in the gentle vice of her father’s arms

& is the only one whose eyes aren’t trained

to where she’s going. She looks back at me


or maybe the tall stems of lilies I have

cellophaned & cradled in the crook of my arm,

closed green heads leaning for the window

& soon to open for my mother, an inner beauty

dependant on the better sides of our nature. I


look into the eyes of this man’s life & see

the answer to a question we needn’t ask

as he breathes in her downy head

lost to the world nearly

missing his stop.