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Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Mystery People

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.


  1. Darrell, you pose a question many of us have asked ourselves. Would I? Could I? The truth is, people are full of surprises.

  2. I agree with Martin, none of know whether we could/would if it came to the crunch. You've made us think.