finding roberto
by Tobey Kaplan

I had changed my haircut
I was browsing rockridge library
avoiding the gym avoiding the freeway the heat
the tug of responsibility

I am going to my high school reunion after 35 years
my hair gray my spirit hardly dulled

look in poetry
look in non-fiction

then in the street in front of Filipos
I recognize him
bronze mid-size aztek mayan slick black mexican hair

hardly see Ann W with dyed hair
then Sonja short gray curls
all of them friendly lovely

they can’t tell I had my hair cut
it’s dirty and unkempt
my shorts have holes in them
my tee shirt has been washed a thousand times since the last time
I saw Roberto off to the big washington dc
for an artists’ job

he’s back taking care of his mom
i will go to queens and visit my mom cataract surgery
help out dad and see the old school
my niece and nephew independent
and responsible

like I never was
yet I’ve found roberto
young interesting
lines on his face
only yesterday

he told me
everything we had to know and love

look in poetry
look in non-fiction

the eyes of the dog

look on the bookshelf
look over the table

look over the menu
scan the newspaper

find a movie
find a character
pay attention to what you find
images sleeping

pay attention to the movies
pay attention to the dogs
look both ways while you’re crossing

always signal before you change lanes
look before you change lanes

look up the street
a man is crossing with two women
they didn’t find what they wanted in the Hudson Cafe
so they went to Filipos

I am wearing my running clothes
sweating almost fifty three years

listen to the water
the ache of laughter
the city roaring
the earth’s lines etched
in our faces

look in poetry
look in non-fiction.