Am I necessary to the spinning of the earth?
Do my footsteps leave any pattern?
Does anyone hear my voice break when
I think out loud in the elevator?
I smile at toy poodles and huge panting mutts
But their owners’ eyes avoid me
I hail doormen and waiters and store clerks
Who say thank you ma’am, good-bye
Maybe I’m melting away like the icecaps
Or growing extinct like South American butterflies
One day I’ll wake up and find I’m in some other place
Where the unnecessary people go
I’ll play bridge with someone’s sweet, old aunt
And walk on forest paths with cousin Tim
(He stayed too long in grad school, just disappeared)
And I’ll skip rope with all the abandoned kids
Sounds rather peaceful and pleasant at first
Until you remember that we all go home alone
And our voices and footsteps leave no echoes
Our lives have left no mark