A Lesson From Europe


wore brave faces

damp with worry.

During familiar hugs

she cried.

Years of cologne


back and forth

and smiled.

Through final goodbyes,

I left.

I learned.


Chinese noodles

were freckled

and snoring.

She leaned on me.

No turbulence, luckily.

Russian accent

Had this small girl

he didn’t want to hold.

Sometimes he’d look at her

almost like he liked her.

Through hours of discomfort,  

I smirked.

I learned.


Bus tours

with kind eyes

smiled when he spoke

of history,

his wife,

his country.

Through tendrils of sleep,

I listened.

I learned.



played at an

upscale restaurant.

In taking a picture,

he glanced

through laugh lines,

broken English,

playful fingering,

sounded, “No paparazzi.”

Through camera lenses,

I blushed.

I learned.



was flustered

assumed me Thief,

in the only english he knew.

Through foreign card readers,

I paid (I swear).

I learned.


Knock-off shoes

yelled with gusto

2 for 1 euro?

Traditional African garb

clothed genuine people,

joked at any chance of

selling big bags of purses.

Through hesitant watching,

I chuckled.

I learned.



worked clothes stores,

chattered 20 minutes

of home countries  

and kindness.

Through natural banter,

I spoke.

I learned.


Red lipstick

was a friend.

We reconciled at a small,

Parisian hole-in-the-wall;

had sweet lips that

mocked Americans.

Lord, was it funny.

Through bad jokes,

I joined.

I learned.



was a French Feminist.

She toured Versailles,

biased towards the girls

(we cared more about art, she said).

Quick wit glowed

on aged skin.

Through an earpiece,

I grinned.

I learned.



ran through hotels

After us.

Wore a pink polo,

yelled at us in French

through silent laughter,

I respected.

I learned.



bumped into me.

Said “Excuse moi,”


“Excuse me.”

Through eager observation,

I watched.

I learned.


This poem is about: 
Our world
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