I hope you can forgive me.
I know the obvious protrusion in your belly is a baby
so please don’t think my not giving you my seat
is a statement about your womanly shape...
I’m saying I don’t think you’re just plump or bloated,
(though you are) just that I’m a bit exhausted
if one can be exhausted only a bit.
For a change, I’d like to feel my weight on my bottom
for the next 30 minutes, at least
as I’ve been on my feet for the last eight hours.
Forgive me if I can’t stand you looking at me
like the dirt under your fingernails. I know
you want to scrape me out, but dear woman,
I’ve been giving my seat to the elderly, the young
and the pregnant of your most graceful kind
and while, at the back of my mind,
I harbor delusions of my good deeds being returned,
as the Golden Rule would have it,
it seems we have to put old maxims to the test.
Even gold may turn out to be foolish these days
so apologies that I have to close my eyes, feign sleep.
Your loathing gaze might make me give up my seat.