"Poem for Atticus" by Ted Prokash
I took a walk downtown.
I met a couple of clean-cut teenagers on bikes – riding for exercise.
The boy was in front, the girl behind.
The boy glanced at me with trepidation - beneath that, embarrassment.
The girl met my eyes and gave me a half smile.
I’ve taken to looking people in their faces when I meet them on the street, mostly
for fear of not recognizing someone I know and being seen
as an asshole for not acknowledging them.
Also I think it’s kind of pathetic to go around avoiding people’s eyes all the time, as old as I am.
It’s funny how your insecurities can cause you to misconstrue people’s intentions.
It’s funny how your insecurities can cause you to project something you didn’t intend to project.
Or were unconscious of projecting.
Or were only subconsciously intending to project.