Down there on the sidewalk there’s a man in blue jeans
and a red cap picking up cigarette butts
and putting them into an envelope.
Every now and then he gives the envelope a little shake
as though it’s something official.
From up here I have a good view
and I can see some dog-ends he’s missed
some with a lot of smoke still left in them
and I want to say hey look over there
but he’s read my mind and finds them eventually
puts them in the envelope, shakes it and moves on.
When he’s almost out of view another guy walks past
coming the other way.
It looks from up here as if this man has one arm
crooked up and is letting the other one swing loose
as he walks.
It’s a sunny day, a Sunday, the day before Memorial Day.
Everyone is swinging their arms as far as I can tell
but when this man walks further on I can see from the back
that the arm I thought was crooked isn’t
an arm at all.
And all the time I’m standing here
leaning over and looking down
I’m thinking of you and the conversation we had.
The way you said, ‘You just have to learn to be more
sensitive, see things from my point of view.’
And I feel bad, I really do, that I never
seem to find a way of giving you what you need.
You can just about see the whole city from up here, honest
you should come up and try it.