The first time Dan saw the poetry, he had just spilled his coffee on the sports section of the paper. As he tried dabbing the mess, to no avail, he noticed the tiny handwritten poem. Right under a photo of another accused steroid-user he read:
I’m down on my knees;
I’m sorry you caught me for sure.
I wish I could quit,
I’d like to repent;
I’m certain there isn’t a cure.
Dan smiled at the truth of the poem and then gathered the sodden mess of paper and tossed it into the recycling bin.
Dan frequented The Perfect Blend Coffee Shop almost daily. Located on High Street, it was positioned right across the street from Ohio State where Dan was studying architecture. He didn’t run across a lot of poetry, unless you counted the poetry he saw in a perfectly designed building.
The next day he decided to, once again, grab the window seat at the Blend and flip through the paper lying on the table. He smiled as his reward appeared. A photo of a smiling politician making promises about campaign spending reform was graced with another handwritten poem with biting insight:
His smile so keen,
His teeth, oh so white,
The question remains,
Does he feel our plight?
It was Susan all along.
He picked up his mug, walked over to the table and said, “Hey Susan, can I join you?"
Susan smiled and greeted him with a tired but friendly, “Hi there.” She put her pen down on the paper, looked at him again and said, “What a long night.”
Dan wasn’t thinking about his presentation anymore. It was Susan all along, he thought. She had been hunched over a table in the architecture building for two years, just like him, and they’d never gotten to know each other. “So, what are you writing?” he asked.
She smiled shyly and said, “It’s just some silly poetry. I’m sure nobody reads it.”
It was originally posted on Feb. 23, 2010