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Abby Bernal



he sits settled on the bench waiting for a smile from a passing stranger.

his aging body blended with the cracks of his old wooden chair.

his hat tilted, ever so slightly, giving him an opportunity to choose his connections.


i approach him and offer him a smile.

he moves over and places his hand on the bench beside him, a response to the possibility of company.

i sit close to him as the space between us takes on an energy of its own.


together we watch life pass by.


i sigh as a first sign I am willing to relax; he nods gently.


he taps my knee to settle my restlessness; i smile graciously.


he points to a small bird that is only able to fly short distances;i acknowledge hesitantly.


he holds tight to his cane that digs deep into the ground. i move it slightly;he grins playfully.


he looks down for a long pause. i lift his chin;he stiffens proudly.


his hand shakes. i place mine on his to settle it; he holds firmly.


then we look at each other, his eyes nestled in life experiences;mine unprotected.


i take his patience, his tenacity, his pace.

he takes my movement, my energy,my eagerness,


and together we feel the importance of mutual regard.

together we watch life interact with us ever so gracefully.

together the space in between us disappears.



From Abigail (Artbook Bindery, 2009), copyright by Abby Bernal.
Used with the author's permission.



 Abby Bernal was born into a family whose mother taught her to imagine, whose father taught her about the value in effort, and whose brother taught her to listen. She graduated with a B.S. degree in psychology, earned a Masters degree in clinical social work, and has built a private practice that she describes as "a gift." A native Floridian, Abby continues to live in Florida with her husband and two beautiful sons. She hopes her writings can touch others in a way that causes them to start “dreaming in the daytime.” Learn more about Abby at



Post New Comment:
Beautifully crafted :) Maire
Posted 08/13/2014 02:54 AM
Wilda Morris:
Anne said it perfectly - "brave and beautiful."
Posted 08/12/2014 08:26 AM
Offer, at the very least, a smile!! Moving poem!
Posted 08/11/2014 10:21 AM
"Spaces" makes me want to believe this is a description of a real event, which seems utter impossible in our era of distrust, suspicion, and lust for security.
Posted 08/11/2014 09:57 AM
How brave and beautiful!
Posted 08/11/2014 09:38 AM
What a beautiful thing, to allow your heart to be fully open, to erase that space of loneliness. It's much easier to be that "passing stranger." Wonderful piece.
Posted 08/11/2014 09:13 AM
This poem draws me in and makes me wonder if they do know each other.
Posted 08/11/2014 08:45 AM
That is a delightful poem
Posted 08/11/2014 04:39 AM

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