Actor Keith Hamilton Cobb website


On the Train

I heard the old man on the train talking about his new hip replacement
In explanation of why
He got up so carefully, slowly,
Graciously exchanging seats with the waiting family of five.
I asked,
“How long have you had it?” and
The man began to speak to me about it as if no one had asked in a long time,
Or ever.
He said, wide-eyed, almost hopefully,
“You know about hips?” and
I told the man, smiling, almost apologetic,
“Well… not that kind…”  I was just asking.
The man told me –
He seemed eager to continue the conversation –
He thought I might be a doctor the way I inquired,
Which got me thinking,
While the old man spoke,
What would now be different if I had, in fact, been
A physician sitting on the train reading my book
Who had gone to school for nine years to become one, and
Then had practiced for several more, and married, and
Made babies
(Like the couple with the two children and grandma in the next seats over,
All looking quite content on their way to the baseball game) and
Now I was indeed inquiring,
Asking about the man’s new hip
Because I knew all about them, and
I genuinely cared about others, and
My heart was huge, and
Open?

© 2014 Keith Hamilton Cobb
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