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A Woman of Long-Ago Me

I dreamed of a woman of long-ago me
Years, Decades, Lifetimes
In my dream I was driving a shuttle-bus taxi - of all things
In Orlando, Florida, stopped by the side of the road, talking to my 
lone passenger, an immigrant, chubby-cheeked, smooth-skinned,
swarthy, from India, or close enough that it made no difference.
He was trying to find his very-pregnant wife. 
And there She was, (not the pregnant wife, the woman of long-ago me)
just outside the double-folding bus doors. 
In the rain - I hadn't noticed it was raining
her eye make-up smudged. 
(her make-up had always been perfect when I knew her)
I stood there in mute wonder and fascination, 
making no move to move toward her
(the door was now open even though I had not opened it)
she finally looked up at me in such sorrow and pathetic misery that I pulled her into my arms, 
giving her the hug she desperately needed, still mute from shock
She'd come down to see me - with no word - 
We haven't even been in contact in a dozen years.
She'd been chased by a ruthless cabbie and his wife - a criminal team
they were trying to find her, to kill her for her jewelry. 
She was bleeding, her face was bleeding - how did I not notice that?
She said nothing - but the question lingered anyway - 
Why had I not been there for her, to protect her from the cabbie and wife?
Even the immigrant refused to look at me, embarassed for my lack of action. 
I could say nothing. I had no answers. 
I had not been there for her.  
I didn't know she needed me - it hardly matters. 
Where was I? 

[I awoke two days ago fresh from this dream. Before doing anything - knowing how dreams can fade - I leaned over and typed these words exactly. It wasn't the whole dream. I'm not even sure I got all the details right. And it isn't the way I would write this poem (were I to do it now). But those words are exactly what I wrote as soon as I awoke, and there seemed to be some sort of power in leaving it as it was.]

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