Cool Wit by Gregory Rosewell

On the train ride home
During a dreary New York winter
A beautiful young French woman
Boarded just outside the city
And immediately sat next to me.

There were other seats open
Scattered around the quiet train
Seats that did not need a large bag to be moved
As mine did
But there was no awkwardness
As her eyes met mine
And I obliged her without a second thought
Or hesitation.

As the train continued on its way
The young French woman
Joyfully and playfully laughed
With her friend across the aisle
And they took pictures of themselves
With me shyly reading in the background.

I continued reading and pretending not to notice them
But from the corner of my eye I could steal enough
Subtle glances to see the glow of the woman’s eyes
As she tussled with and stroked her long brown hair.

And as we rode on I saw that
Every so often she would slightly turn to me
As if she was waiting to be
Spoken to
Addressed in some way
By the quiet man sitting next to her
But I did not raise my head once—
I did not even attempt to speak to her.

She was so ephemeral there on that train
And the sound of her voice so pleasant
Against the backdrop of the cold and tired city
Slowly approaching
That I did not want to be
Just another fool
Who tried to capture
Grace’s fair attention
With clumsy speech
And dreadfully cool wit.

Gregory Rosewell
Gregory Rosewell grew up in coastal New England and went to college among the Green Mountains of Vermont. After shuffling around the country for years with his wife and dog – working, traveling, and writing – he settled in the San Francisco Bay Area where he teaches high school and escapes to the mountains as often as he can. You can follow his adventures on Instagram @invincible_winter

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