Toby stands at the door of the red Dodge van
holding the field trip bag in one hand and five
matchbox cars in the other, including the well-loved
number three black Chevy Dale Earnhardt car.
You wait for him to open the door.
He tugs on the handle a couple of times,
but can’t get a grip with the cars in his hand.
At this point if he were to ask for help
you would help, for asking is a good thing
and the words don’t come easy to him.
Instead, Toby puts the bag on the ground,
puts all five cars into his other hand,
loops his arm through the bag straps
and with his now free hand pulls again.
But the door still won’t open and still you wait.
Toby stands with his head down.
You consider saying try another way,
but language usually gets in his way,
so you just wait a minute, until he starts again,
adjusts his grip, or merely pulls harder
and the door opens.
Toby steps up quickly while you stand behind,
spotting, in case he falls backwards, then
you swing around to the driver’s seat, while
Toby clicks his seat belt and turns on the radio.
BLM is blasting “Fat Bottomed Girls Make
the Rocking World Go Round,” and together you sing,
while headed to the mall, where you’ll get a Pepsi
at McDonald’s – if you make it around the courtyard twice.
And even though it’s unlikely anyone
will say thank you, you know you’ve just helped
someone to learn to open a door for himself –
which makes the world a better place.