I’m about to pull out
of the Safeway parking lot,
when a young woman knocks
on my side window.
I’ve got the buck I keep
in the otherwise unused ashtray,
to hand her in her need.
“Can you give me a lift?” she asks
in a British-Hindu accent.
“I’m just a few streets away,”
then shows me her shopping bags.
“Sure,” I smile. Sighing
from no longer having to lug
her groceries, she collapses
into the shotgun seat.
“You’re very brave,” I tell her,
“to trust a stranger,” and recall
a friend who hippie-thumbed
cross-country, and was raped twice.
“You looked harmless,” she smiles,
then quickly amends that to,
“Kind, you’re most kind.”
At my age, I’ll take any compliment
I can get from a Bollywood-attractive
young woman; when we arrive,
she thanks me, and for a second I fear
she’ll kiss me on the cheek: payment
to a harmless uncle or grandpa.
Robert Cooperman's latest collection is JUST DRIVE (Brick Road Poetry Press). IN THE COLORADO GOLD FEVER MOUNTAINS (Western Reflections Books) won the Colorado Book award for Poetry. Forthcoming from FutureCycle Press is DRAFT BOARD BLUES.