You can leave yourself behind

bleak in the hands of a stranger

stuck without an exit

in a bus stop, isolated, Maine.


I know

I have swum in the rip tide there

where the sharks circle in pods

along the shoreline, only way the land.


But this is the whisper

of a different man who helped me

another stranger on the train I took

who sat there with me about one hour.


Then the stranger on the train

got up and left me there

just to sit a while with myself

and remember I am strong.


I can push myself through the sharks

I'll disguise myself, a fin

I'll kick the tide with all my might

till I'm safe on the sand again.


The whisper of that friend

who helped me find my fight

is what I hope that I can spread

in the night, a firefly.