On the first golden Sunday in May,
my wife and I pull bikes up to
the restrooms at Shawnee Park.
A grinning man greets us, waving
a sack before entering the john.
We exchange glances—way too friendly.
And what’s in the bag?

Inside, I’m relieved to find
he’s disappeared into a stall.
Back outside, I sense a presence,
turn and find it’s him. “I’m Edwin,”
he says and grasps my hand.
Now he will bring forth a gun,
demand money, sympathy,
everything I’ve got.

Instead, beneath brand
new surveillance cameras,
he lifts a palm and says, “May
the good Lord keep you safe.”
Before I can respond, he’s gone
on a day God must’ve wept
a world
such as ours.


Ed Davis