COLD STEEL BENCH • by Jacqueline Colt


You told me you didn’t believe in calamity,

on a bench outside my favorite coffee shop.

I felt all right asking what the hell that meant,

but not scooting any closer.

It was freezing—almost dark—

and I hated your cigarette smoke,

but you looked wise and genuine.

You said it was all a bunch of bullshit,

that you, for one, had hope.


We didn’t shake hands when we parted,

and I’ve seen you distantly a few times since.

I want you to know

that I have hope, too.

I’d like just one

tepidly dissatisfied teen

to copy my words into a small blue notebook

to pore over on trains,

to savor and dissect.


And I think one will.

You could say that I, too, don’t believe in calamity.

And I’d never have known

but for that bench.


Jacqueline Colt  hails from western MA and revels in exploring the world and studying the stories of the people and places she encounters.

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Rating: 2.1/5 (30 votes cast)
COLD STEEL BENCH • by Jacqueline Colt, 2.1 out of 5 based on 30 ratings
Posted on March 12, 2013 in Other, Poems
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  • Roberta SchulbergGoro

    Charming and well done. Cheered me up.

  • Carol Ayer

    I love “tepidly dissatisfied.” 4 stars.

  • L Devino

    I love this poem so much, I don’t know where to begin! I love individual words and phrases: “calamity”, “wise and genuine”, “bunch of bullshit”, “hope”, and “hope” again, “tepidly dissatisfied”, “small blue notebook”, “to savor and dissect”, “but for that bench.” I love “And I think one will”, a positive affirmation for the hope expressed in the previous stanza. I love this poem’s appreciation for the small random pieces of wisdom we collect from meetings with unlikely strangers on a “cold steel bench.” Just perfect.

  • Judy D’Antonio

    I love this poem! It’s so simple, yet so deeply descriptive–I have sat on that cold steel bench myself…great job!

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