I was four years old. A spring afternoon,
walking home, alone. The air was thick
with pungent sweet scent of a lilac bloom.
A fallen sprig lay on the path of brick.

I reached down to pick it up when I saw
my shoelace on my left shoe was untied.
A wave of helpless despair swept most raw
through me in a sudden convulsive riptide.

Sprig in hand, I stared forlorn at the shoe.
A shadow loomed, looking up a man stood.
He bent down, tied my lace, smiled, then withdrew
from my sight into the neighboring wood.

He left my life ever anonymous,
but left forever a taste for kindness.