To the Man I Met on the Bus Last Night by Lena Keown

“To the Man I Met on the Bus Last Night”
by Lena Keown

I didn’t mean to be rude, sir;
it is not that you,
yourself, frightened me,
for you were pleasant and kind.
You liked my hair, you said,
but your lips said you dreamt not
of tugging it salaciously,
malignantly.
You spoke of simple things;
you intimated no rage
nor lust
nor a ghostly heart.
In truth, I liked you;
you intrigued me,
and the cadence of your simple words
was light and warm.

I didn’t mean to be rude
when I turned from you:
I did it because they want me
to be weak,
to run without reason,
and what can I do?
I was alone and it was dark;
such effects weakness
in a woman,
they tell me.

I know you will not think of me;
I know you have not since I left.
But you will linger with me longer
than the smile of polite fear
that seized my face as I passed you,
for the last time,
and I tried to look at your eyes.

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