Riding the Canal Street Trolly Car

I clambered aboard the trolly
just before noon at the Bourbon Street stop.
A light spring rain took the edge
off the clinging humidity.
The red trolly sang down the rails
bright against the grey sky.

I slid onto a narrow seat;
a token white tourist amongst locals.
An elderly woman sat facing the door,
one hand on her cane,
greeting passengers,
nodding and teasing,
her hair shaped by curlers but not brushed soft.

A man, slightly greying, strong and tall,
lowered his ample rumpled body
onto the sliver of seat next to me.
Are you having a good day?
Startled, I smiled.  Yes.
Where are you from?
Wistfully, he sighed Someday, I want to see the beautiful beaches there.
I looked out the window.
It’s beautiful here too.  The music, the colors…

He looked at me, his face a round black question mark. Then
he smiled broadly and thumped his chest.
I guess beauty is in here.
I met his eyes  There is more beauty
on this trolly than in all of California.

He stood quickly and walked to the exit door.
Turning to me with wet eyes he murmered
God bless you.


11 thoughts on “Riding the Canal Street Trolly Car

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