The old Sears Roebuck Catalog used in so many outhouses in the 1930’s often had three different models of products listed in price as Good, Better and Best. When I have offered help or maybe a drink of pop to teens and older men they often respond “I’m good.” That seems to have irritated me somehow because I woke up early on January 8th, 2018 with this poem already formed in my mind, rushed to my computer and captured it. I told my mind that I would write a poem a week in 2018 and my mind has been blank until this. I woke up a few hours earlier than this and recited a few poems in my mind and then went back to sleep. Then around 5 am I got up for a bit and captured this poem.
The Passing Stranger
“ … can I help you?” I heard that stranger say, that wondrous day as he passed my way.
“No, I’m good.” I replied instinctively.
He shook his head, “No, you didn’t hear me I said, ‘How can I help you.’ You’re good, but you were born to be better and maybe even great.”
And he repeated what I hadn’t heard that first time,
“How can I help you?” And this time I heard him, loud and clear.
“How?” I replied. “Supposing you tell me how?” And I listened.
“If you are willing to listen, really listen, then you’ve already come a long, long way.” He smiled.
And then I looked at him. Yes, I really looked, and his smile was contagious and friendly.
I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d smiled.
It might have been at the same time I started that senseless habit
Of telling folks, “I’m good.”
And then he asked again, “How can I help you?”
And then I smiled once more and I looked him in the eye as I replied, “I’m great!”
The stranger smiled back and went on his merry way.
And since that day I have strived to discover that greatness that is in me
And in you
How can I help you?