They would show us ghosts
That had lingered in Grand Central Terminal for decades.
I'm not sure who I expected
To see there haunting those marble halls.
Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, the railroad titans of yesteryear,
Smoking cigars in the Campbell Apartment
Or the screaming passengers of the great Park Avenue Tunnel crash of 1902
Or the nameless, faceless drug addicts who curled up in the corners
Of the Great Hall in New York’s bankrupt Seventies.
Instead, I saw a girl
Muffled in a dirty Burberry coat,
Her high school kilt, knee socks and Wallabees poking out from under it,
Clutching a copy of The New York Times.
I saw her pale and shivering by the great clock,
Scanning the classifieds, desperately looking for work,
Typing, making coffee, answering the phones,
Anything to put a few dollars in her pocket to stay in New York City.
Scary to think that ghostly girl who wanders those halls was me.
Oct. 25, 2016