They Did Not Say Hello

Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge is to write a poem of greeting, a poem about saying “hello.” Being the contrarian that I am, I imagined a scene between two old lovers, but just could not get them to say hello.


as he crossed the street

he noticed her, limping

struggling with a cane

bent forward and round

like the shape of a question mark

and the obvious question

was too painful to ask

. . .

as she entered the doctor’s office

she noticed him, trembling

struggling with his intake forms

gray hair on gray skin

bald fringe with a bad comb-over

still, his unmistakable features

made her want to say hello

. . .

she questioned their past now

which one of them said goodbye

was it his football career

or her dalliance with the professor

that caused the final split

how could it matter now

college was so long ago

. . .

he questioned the nurse

as he headed to the inner office

of their mutual oncologist

and they both realized

the only questions

that mattered now

were medical ones


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