The man holding the Panama Hat
Appeared anxious, going this way and that,
He paced the subway car, up and down,
Looking for something, all around
Moving forth and up he backed,
For whatever it was that he lacked.
My fellow riders and I politely complied
As the man in black in exasperation sighed.
We looked under, left and right
For something out of sight.
But for what? He didn’t say
As he moved that and this way.
I considered but decided to not ask
Concluding he was some kind of bask
Perhaps in answer to my unspoken query
Panama Hat Man spoke, and busted my theory.
“A brown umbrella,” he declared
Was the item for which he cared
So much so, he dared interrupt our gaze
Away from our practiced straphanger daze.
“Have you seen it?” He inquired
Of everyone sitting bored and tired
Day to day without meaning;
Every ounce of blood without keening.
“Has anyone seen my brown umbrella?” the man pleaded
As he kneeled right before me, his face with sweat balls beaded
And for a moment my skeptic mind
Thought this a ruse to prey on kind
Hearted people so moved by his loss
Nobody noticed a second man, perhaps his boss?
Two con men out to rob each New Yorker;
Perhaps he was the eye-catching label and his friend the uncorker
Popping open each lady’s purse
As Missing Umbrella Dude used chapter and verse
As a distraction from his partner, the champagne from the bubbles.
Whether he be thief, or just a fool, I know his troubles:
What it’s like to be without something, an umbrella, love or dinner
Whether it’s a con or on the level, we are each of us a sinner.
The difference between us is, you’re either just playing a part
Or losing your marbles, not your broken heart.
Crazy umbrella guy, I left you crouching on your knees
Go , scour the subway car, once more if you please.
If you’re fooling us or just a fool , it really matters not
Because I am who I am and what matters matters a lot.
I’m not playing a game or some kind of trick
And I have no intention to deceive men about a prick
To this I object.
I live according to my heart, authentic at last
Not one regret for the bumpy ride or my past
Each challenge has made me stronger, one day at a time
I’ve evolved, you might say, just like “Rosemary and Thyme.”
Nobody knew if ever there was a brown ‘brella.
And if the hat was a style statement or just a costume for this fella.
Nobody knew if he was nuts or just a pretender.
Just as nobody knew that I am transgender.
I keep to myself, but I smile a lot more
Now that I no longer need search for
The item I was missing; it’s found, and it’s me.
Like an umbrella, out and open for all to see.