That man near your elbow—
one of the mystery people?
The woman clicking her heels—
maybe one, too?
They blend in, belying
what they really are.
Sometimes, their true nature
must surprise even themselves.
Often by accident, their deeds
finally give them away:
Out of the blue to save a child drowning,
to pull a man from a burning wreck—
Amazing! Where do they come from?
Sometimes they'll quietly
disappear, sometimes stay to thanks.
Such a mystery! They turn up
everywhere. My friends, my colleagues,
could they possibly be?
I look for a sign in my mirror.
How average. Could I?
© Darrell Petska
Mystery man saves 'lifeless' baby from drowning
Darrell Petska retired recently after more than 30 years as an editor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His poetry appears in a variety of online and print publications.