As I visited the great Metropolitan,
feeling my usual unappetizing self,
I took the time to stop, for just a second,
in the great park.
Sat on a stool, in the shadows of
mighty trees, charcoal in hand,
was the stranger.
The sign said USD 40, and with my
vacation savings up for grabs I took the chance
to sit down opposite him,
him the stranger with the charcoal in hand.
My friend, whom I was visiting, sat smiling,
watching, on a bench and, for a second,
I wondered if she was making fun of me?
If I was, in her eyes, as fake as I felt?
As fat, sweaty and lost as I felt?
She was waiting for me, encouraging me,
and all I could do was to put up the armour
I always do – prepare myself for the
inevitable disaster that my meeting with
the stranger with the charcoal in his hand would be.
I mean, come on! A charcoal portrait of me?
What could be worse?
I decided, then and there, that whatever the outcome was
I would smile and be OK. As I always am.
Always the first one to make fun of myself,
just so no one else gets in there first.
And, after all, this was just a portrait,
made by a stranger
with charcoal in his hand.
I spent the rest of my ten days in the great Metropolitan
in a daze
asking people around me if this, this beautiful woman,
was, truthfully, how they saw me.
I’ve been reluctant to enter poems at d’Verse since I started writing again. However, today’s prompt at the Meeting at the Bar – Self Portrait meant I just couldn’t stay away. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the people who gather at d’Verse (they are great people and amazing poets), I’m just very self-conscious of my poetry/scribbles and being good enough, especially having been gone for so long… Anyway, in all humility, this is my offering.