Lent: Witness

amywink February 23rd, 2018

I am standing
to witness his will,
this man I do not know,
simply because
I was asked
and he is clearly leaving
very soon, though he
looks into my eyes and
I into his so I see him
before he goes.

Between turning the pages
of his will, he rests, worn
from the effort of signing,
turning each page,
and answering the questions
his attorney poses
while I witness.
Then, I ask
about his name,
a long beautiful sound
I do not recognize
so I ask its origin
and he beams briefly,
breathing deep to
say proudly
“Armenian”
and we smile,
together.

Months later, when I am
called as witness
to explain what I saw,
for the legal appeal
of his will, the lawyers
ask, what I heard,
what I understood
about the scene.
Did you speak with him?
What did he say?
And I reply,
Yes, I spoke with him.

I asked him about
his beautiful name,
and he said “Armenian.”
and we were then
no longer strangers.

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