Once When You Were Old

Once when you were old

I saw you red-hatted

Late on a Sunday night

Smack center

In a cluster of teenage boys,

a dozen or so

They, like blackbirds

When the pie was opened –

Chirping youthful

On the uptown A

You, incongruous at 70

White, female, round

They, all muscles and shine

Flash and sass.

At 125th you all spill out

Fill the platform with squawking

Swoosh up the stairs on the wing

You, carried aloft.

How are you not flattened in the shear?

But you fly up with them, a spec of red hat

Embedded, and shooting them — all the while

On cell phone video

Feather, beak, eye

Bird fancier in a red hat.

Did you capture it?

Youth? Sleek and flightful.

To remember it

That time when you were old?