"Empty Faces"


I am well-acquainted with empty faces

That simply serve to fill in seats,

Those that merit no mention in their places,

Those that no one ever greets.


They are the faces of the crowd,

That simply sit and stare impassively,

That rarely speak, are never loud,

And bear no mention in our memory.


They are simply faces, and nothing more,

That fill up seats, and windows, and the sides—

Faces that we've never seen before,

That we overlook, as our notice soon subsides.


They're lost as we sit and join our friends

And get absorbed in the conversation,

As they sit like simple, shallow trends

That return and reside across the nation.


Or they are the faces that we long to greet

Because they seem so solemn or so lost,

Because we feel sorry as we see them from our seat,

Tossed, abandoned among frigid, lonely frost.


Or they are the faces without any mention,

That we do not see at all,

Less worthy than in outcast to our attention,

Without any feature to recall.


Or worse of all, we share some fear

That they may share an ill-intent

And strive to harm us someplace dear

With theft, or rape, or words irreverent.


I am well-acquainted with empty faces,

As they watch the world pass them slowly by,

Looking from obscure and empty places

Without a single sound of "hi."


I too have watched the world unfold

With characters and colors both poignant and bold,

As love and friendship and simple jest pass on by

Without seeming to say a single "hi."


I too am an empty face,

Sometimes falling into place

Quietly, without ado,

Almost certainly ignored by you.