Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: The man in front of you

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

Today?s poem by Alice Persons of Westbrook describes the mysterious and elusive man just beyond a woman?s grasp.

The man in front of you by Alice Persons

is just tall enough
has soft black hair
and golden skin
wide shoulders
and smells good
you stand behind him
in the movie line
or buying flowers on boylston street
or see him on the subway
not far down the car
his clean brown hands
on the overhead rail
the man in front of you
could have just killed someone
or might have a bitter face
may love no one
or always sleep alone
the man in front of you
hurries out of the station
or rushes around the corner
and vanishes into a cab
you never see his face
but in dreams he comes to you
and does not slip away

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2011 Alice Persons. Reprinted from Thank Your Lucky Stars, Moon Pie Press, 2011, by permission of Alice Persons. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at mainepoetlaureate@gmail.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.