TSA agent looks at driver’s license

November 8, 2021

I would have 30 seconds of his day,
maybe 45 because of our exchange.

His brief glance at my driver’s license
showed him I live on the street
where his parents once owned a restaurant.

The place had a fire, he said,
and they sold it.
How are they, I inquired.
He didn’t know;
they are estranged from him.

I wished him a good day
then walked away,
my words dissolving
into the airport crush.

He remained to scrutinize other licenses,
some peaceful names:
Pine Road, Spruce Street, Poplar Place.

On no other license would a single syllable
open up the emptiness
tight schedules usually
keep at bay.