The walk up the rain-slicked bricks was the same
as every morning's walk, fellow wage slaves in tow,
deisel blackend air belched from the train's gullet
filling my head with its stink, fighting the smell of coffee,
murmured conversations and today's issues
for my morning attention, a gift not easily given.

I waited at the base of the escalator, in queue,
waited for the mass of humanity to filter through the doors
so that I might make my way to my desk, my email, my day.
What caught my eye was her hair, slicked back behind her ears
but wildly frizzed over the nape of her neck,
looking more like an Elizabethan collar than a hairstyle.

The gloves fell out of her purse when she brushed against another,
unnoticed, they fell to the filthy wet floor. As I went past,
it cost me nothing to scoop them up as I went by,
and even less to catch up to her, returning them,
in fact, I gained a smile, a gracious thank you,
and a deeper, honest look into her dark brown eyes.

An hour later, my boss ushered in a prospective client,
one who represented a sizable university account.
As she entered, I saw once more the hair storm and the umber eyes
of the gloveless woman, and this time her smile was brilliant,
her hand in mine warm and soft, her name given
and the serendipity of our meeting sealed the deal.

©2009 Christopher Reilley

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