Murmuration: An Introvert’s Survival Guide

My ability to chat up
Random strangers
Waiting in an inchworm line
Amazes me.
Mostly drawn inwards
Powered by nervy life force
To move, to contemplate and
Now to bow down to slow breaths,

I’m fine mostly
Looking in through the edge of
Mainstream society’s window
To wave hello
Before turning back to
Bending over my own
Internal needlepoint designs.

Coming to a crowded
NHL parking lot event,
Outside, during winter
Before heading inside to
An equally chilly, loud
And enormously cavernous venue
To watch team sports

Is for other folks
Busy nestled in their
Full time, benefited office jobs,
Orangetheory and boot camp classes
Kid shuttling to school and
Their many extracurriculars
Before dinner at the
Cheesecake Factory and
In between handholds of
Caribbean vacations.

A murmuration
A dance
A suspended reality that
I’ll pause to marvel at
But remain separate from.

Even so, when literally in front of
Shivering folks Of all ages
Waiting with baffling patience
To peek into a
Traveling hockey museum,

I find I can turn some kind of
Showmanship switch “on”
To chat, distract and
Lightly entertain those
I’ve never seen before
In my entire life and will likely
Never encounter again.

To seek and establish connection,
However fleeting
With flocks of starlings
Mid flight
Moving to a different beat.

As line keeper,
Head counter and
Admittance regulator,
I learned and
Was reminded that

Girls play hockey
Almost as much as boys now
That front row tickets to
Even a game losing hockey team
Still cost $300 apiece
That people are willing to wait
Over an hour in multiple lines
For a few seconds of
Sports related pleasure, be it
Taking a picture with the Stanley Cup,
Getting a player autograph or
Gaining entrance into a high end
Trailer memorabilia museum

That people will drive 3 hours
To enjoy things other
Than football
That the hockey fan base
Away from frozen laked
Wind chilled states
Can still be fervent

That people like to be
Made socially much of
And be listened to,
Always.

That even a person so often considered
An “oddball” by not only others
But by her own self,
Can be “normal” and
Inside the world sometimes.

Murmuration

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