analytical Q May-Aug 2000 Sept-Dec 2000 Jan-Apr 2001 Discussion

The Diary
Anne Ku

22 March 2001 Thursday



I must have looked lost as I pushed my trolley forward while looking side to side for directions. The somewhat elderly porter came up to me to help. He said,"You're very attractive, mame. Very attractive. Now, how can I help you?"

I didn't know what to say at first, for I had barely any make-up on. Having woken up at 5:30 am to catch the 7 am flight, I hadn't even combed my hair properly. Was he talking to me? Or was that his opening line to ever woman?

The LIGHT RAIL from Baltimore Washington International (BWI) Airport cost just $1.35 one way and took me straight from the airport to the Baltimore Convention Center. On the train, a man got up and announced that he was seeking donations to help him put his poetry on the Internet.

It was the first time I had seen such a performance. In Europe, I've seen singers, guitar players, and even string quartets, but no poets. This man recited his poem and then walked around to collect money. Instead of giving him money, I gave him my card and asked him to submit his poems to my website.

My unique response to his poems invited other passengers to open up. One lady complained about the high cost of burying her mother-in-law. $7,000 was the minimum. Another lady asked if I could help her find a job in the hospitality industry.

I often wondered how many fewer friends I would have if I or they had not spoken up. So many strangers became acquaintances and then friends over time and distance. But the porter who complimented me in the morning gave me the confidence to reach out to someone else. And I'm sure, that poet has touched many more people in turn.

Contributed poetry