I am in line with
a red-coated, dark-skinned beauty
and my bank-president neighbor in an expensive silk suit acquired
on his latest trip to China
and the young artist wearing burnt orange
who is here for his first time
and the family that has made it an event: stroller plus three kids, complete with donuts
and the nearly one hundred others who are here
in the early hours
as it just grows light.
I chat with my teacher friend who lives just three streets over
and her pastor husband
a tuck-pointer who fills up on coffee for a long day laboring in the cold
a cranky grandmother whose sweatshirt says so
a strong, hunky man in a motorcycle jacket
(I wonder if he came that way, on motorcycle.)
And there was Patricia who talked back to the security guard
when she was told she couldn’t bring in Ella, her dog.
This is a service dog in training, so she’s allowed.” Patricia said
but I know better
Ella’s not in training; Patricia just wants to bring in her dog.
And in the quiet of this morning, in this calm crowd of unabashed democracy,
I am channeling Walt Whitman
as I think so warmly and so gratefully of this
full of people
that are me and not me.