A crowd of strangers gathers around me.
They are more interested in the stuff upon the table
than the person who lived that stuff into stories.
If they do not ask, they will never know
that Olympic National Park t-shirt
sweated through a bicycle ride all the way to Chicago.
Or feel the thousands of smiles
the camera captured for pithy captions
pinned to an interior wall covered in empty wine bottle corks.
An optimistic woman seems more interested
in the author signatures inside the poetry books,
than the poetry the books preserve to spark imaginations.
I discount the seven stacks of blank artist papers
and box of one hundred twenty-eight different colored pencils
and numerous sticks of charcoal for the eight year old.
She may be the next Helen Frankenthaler.
Or Mary Cassatt.
Or Hildegard von Bingen.