A Chance Encounter

A Chance Encounter

A Poem by Shelley Warner

I wrote this a couple years ago when visiting my son.


She sat in her wheelchair,

oxygen tank resting at her feet,

her thin silver hair slicked back.


She opened her sunken mouth

and spoke kindly to my grandkids

standing in line beside her.


What’s your name? she asked.

Zach, he replied.

Awww, good name.


Then to my granddaughter,

And what is your name?

Faith was the reply

Awww, that’s a good name too.


The line moved forward.

Are you in line? I asked.

No, that’s my son checking us in

We’re here to see my other son.


We’re here to see my son too,

and my grandkids’ father, I offered.

Oh, I thought so, she answered,

kindness in her voice.


Then it was our turn to

write the inmate’s number,

and our names and

receive a visitor’s badge.


I mentioned her later to the kids:

Some people have real challenges,

and they are also faced with

the challenge of having a

loved one in here.


I thought about her all that day

She looked frail

But was mighty in spirit

She looked beyond herself

And noticed us.




© 2021 Shelley Warner

My Review

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Sensitive, touching, and a bit chilling. Oh, how I admire and revere folks like the old lady. And you, the teacher, saying wise words to the kids. Having never experienced such a thing, I can only try to imagine the impact.

Posted 1 Month Ago

I try to be kind to the older people.
"I thought about her all that day
She looked frail
But was mighty in spirit
She looked beyond herself"
We could be the only kind words they hear in a day. Thank you dear Shelley for sharing your amazing poetry and your thoughts.

And noticed us

Posted 1 Month Ago

she was blessed with kindness and passed it on

Posted 1 Month Ago

Shelley Warner

1 Month Ago

Yes, she did. Thanks for reading.

1 Month Ago

you`re welcome
Hope your son is doing well.
I suppose in some situations, you don't want to speak to anyone, just your son, yet this lady who probably wouldn't be on this earth much longer gave her time to you. Sometimes this really does pick you up.

Posted 1 Month Ago

Shelley Warner

1 Month Ago

Yes, we visited him weekly until the pandemic. Then visitation stopped and we just kept in touch by .. read more
Paul Bell

1 Month Ago

Yeah, prison only encourages drug use. The sooner authorities realise this, the better.
I love this. Even with her hardship, she had enough heart to be kind to others visiting the prison.

Real humanity for sure...I hope it doesn't take too many people to reach that...But it seems we have to live an awful long time to find it.

Posted 1 Month Ago

Shelley Warner

1 Month Ago

Yes, in a world where there's a lot of bad, it's good to see good.

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5 Reviews
Added on August 4, 2021
Last Updated on August 4, 2021


Shelley Warner
Shelley Warner

Camas, WA

I like to write about my life. Sounds a little narcissistic, right? But it's the challenges, the griefs, the joys, the faith struggles, and the enjoyment of nature that inspires me. I have published t.. more..


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