You must have decided I am unstable—
Changing seats was the better option
even though you had to wedge your wide frame between
two other overweight passengers.
Bursting into tears had nothing to do with you.
I cover my face and burn with shame,
yet I am unable to stop the flood once it has started.
No matter what is first the cause,
all the tears drain to the same murky, bottomless pool:
my baby, my baby, my baby
I hope you come to believe
I was not doing it to manipulate you,
but I have to accept you may not forgive me five cramped hours.
I can't even look across the aisle to your profile.
And I am certain
you will never know what an act of kindness it was
to give up your seat so
I could hold my wife's hand and
lean my cheek on her shoulder on this day—
six months since I gave birth to
our baby boy who had already died.
What acts of kindness have strangers done for you in your time of mourning? What small things have friends or acquaintances done unexpectedly for you? Have you found yourself inconveniently in public on a particularly difficult day of grief? Have you felt embarrassed by or ashamed of your emotions on your grief journey? How have you handled it?