Poem for Strangers

Lola sells cassava in front of her house
Never in my life I bought one
Because I don’t like it as my breakfast.

She also sells boiled bananas
Never in my life I bought one
Because I like bananas during snack time.

I just love passing by in front of her store
While she sits there talking to her neighbor
I just love seeing her smile every morning.

With her sugar-coated smile, I feel alive
Even after tantrums because of waking up early—
Every time I pass there, I see her, then I smile.

One day, I did not see her there
Her store is also closed for the day
I wonder why…

Until I saw a banner in the wall—
My heart was stabbed with sequoia,
She passed away—

I don’t know her but I call her Lola
Never in my life I’ve bought her cassava
Never in my life I’ve bought even after she’s gone.

Never in my life…
Never in my life I’ve known her name
Yet I remember her.

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