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Richard E. Lee

We had almost passed each other
when she turned and shouted,
"Oh, I remember you.
You were my teacher ten years ago.
I remember you like it was yesterday.
Why, I even tell everyone I know
about you. You were the very
best teacher I ever had. I
learned so much from you.
My, it is so good to see you."
"And I remember you too," I smiled.
"I wish we could talk longer," she said,
"but I have to catch my bus.
It was so good to see you.
Good-bye, Dr. Day."
And she was gone.
She was gone before
I could yell after her,
"I'm not Dr. Day. I'm Dr. Lee.
Don't you remember?"
But she was lost in sunlight.
All those years Day has been getting my credits.
She told everyone about me, but I am not me.
I am him. "I'm Dr. Lee," I was stuttering,
but she had disappeared,
gone, on her bus to nowhere.
She had no idea who I really
and truly am,
but I am pretty sure I am me.
I must be. Everyone knows me as me.
Of course, she doesn't. And all the people she told
about me, they don't.
The way I handle this is by
yelling after her: "Have a nice day."
Not that she can hear. As a matter of fact
she is probably telling people right now:
"You'll never guess who I just met."

Richard E. Lee
[from Pearl, Number 14, Fall/Winter 1991]