It was just where the bus stop stands outside the library.
Noisy, crowded part of town
And he came along
Led by a dog.
He was blind.
He stopped near me,
Will you tell me when the number 30 comes along, he said.
Yes, of course, I said
But how can you be sure I won't be telling you for the number 43 instead?
I trust you, he said.
Was he really blind?
I wanted to wave my hand in front of his face like I saw in a movie
But that seemed terribly rude.
He put his dark glasses on,
He was really blind.
I petted his dog, a golden labrador type of dog,
Kindness in the eyes.
The traffic roared by.
We talked and stood very close to one another,
I feel I can talk to you, he said.
After a while I could see the number 30 coming through a haze of mist, like an albatross,
Heading our way.
I felt like saying - stay.
Maybe I should follow him on to the bus,
Find out where he lives.
Will you help me on, he asked, not sure where the door is?
I thought he probably lives in one of those ground floor apartments
All leafy with trees outside,
Just him and the dog.
With one of those loud ticking clocks
That fill the place with a sort of comforting homeliness.
I thought the kitchen must be at the back,
Leading to the slightly overgrown garden,
So peaceful there.
The kitchen with the large scrubbed light wood table,
Standing on the fraying mat.
We could talk together there,
Talk about everything I want to talk about.
I could read to him,
Sit peacefully by the table,
Like Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester
Before his sight returned.
I guided him up the steps into the bus,
The dog too.
Are you coming with us, he asked?
No, no, I said, I go in the opposite direction.
The bus doors swung closed
Leaving me standing on the pavement . . . alone.