A young, handsome couple under an umbrella
waits to cross New Britain Avenue,
which is wet, slick, and busy.
They’re at the age of repressed uncertainty,
crooked cake toppers dressed in earthen colors.
They are faceless; they are far.
As though checking the temperature
of a pool, the woman points her toes
then instantly pulls them back:
a car whirring past, mist trailing in its wake
like fistfuls of rice tossed in the rain.
Thus the man plays Courage and takes her hand.
All signs point to stop because she’s not ready,
the conditions aren’t right,
but for some reason he’s in a hurry, so
they’re suddenly off on uneven wavelengths,
sprinting with eternal optimism
toward the showroom floor. He doesn’t know
that he leads both for her sake and for ours,
the ones idling on corners in safe,
comfortable cars, silently rooting them on.
Terence McCaffrey teaches high school English in Connecticut. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Connecticut River Review, Freshwater, and Helix. It has also been featured on Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY. He received a M.A.L.S. degree in Humanities from Wesleyan University and a B.A. from the University of Hartford. He lives in Middletown, CT, with his wife and two children.