Sunday Sonder: Portrait Poems
The word Sonder comes from a definition written by 
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. 

n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

I found the meaning of Sonder absolutely breathtaking.
Every Sunday for forty Sundays, I decided to illustrate a stranger and imagine part of their existence within a short three-lined poem.
This is Judith. 
Judith believes in God but fears the afterlife, 
she enjoys the sun 
folding over the cat in the window.
This is Franklin. 
Road rage keeps him company on his commute, 
he'd rather be in a bubble bath
listening to dreampop.

This is Sara.
Sara is her mother's caretaker,
the best part is 
watching her paint.
This is Jeremy. 
He doesn't care who knows
about the secrets
his beard grows.
This is Cynthia.
Part-time after time, 
she'll get along just fine
with a hug from some wine.
This is David.
Just because he's dark and tall,
Doesn't mean you'll see him 
playing ball.
This is Phil.
Collecting and connecting to
the stories lost and found,
his wife tells him, "slow down."
This is Laura.
Serving with a smile
nothing tastes quite like
This is Joseph.
Through his innocence
he gains experience;
if only it could last forever.
This is Renée.
She savors the simple;
a cloud with curiosity 
a mimosa with melancholy.
This is Moriah.
Just like her sister hope skips on the river;
singing, swinging;
Being and believing.
This is Ian.
Though he may be nervous,
certainly uncertain,
possibility dances on his fingertip.
This is Steven.
Near sunrise the tide recedes,
he hears his mother 
in the breeze.
This is Dorothy.
Her garden ripe with summer
showing no signs of slowing
just like the children.
This is Al.
He sold the business
for a new light of life
of which there is no price.
This is Martin.
Sometimes he is moved to dance, 
watering concrete plants
the street lights say come home.
This is Sophia.
Soft petals, sweet and discrete,
a breeze through her hair
Her mind the flower.
This is Alton.
A life to exist
Much more than compact discs,
A husband, a father, a son.
This is Paul.
Hair height, soft spikes,
A life of liberation; No symbols
systems, vivid living vibration.
This is Richard.
Tethered to time,
a desk, a mouse, a decent house;
Uncerntainty surrendered to security.
This is Violet.
An intellect, weighed by debt;
Could be in the way
the profits like to play.
This is Timothy.
The oldest at thirty-three.
He knew him best, completely,
his cup dry with black tea, still happy.
This is Keith.
Full with the sun, never had a gun
They knew, but couldn't 
see through the light.
This is Jennifer.
A call tossed toward her
shifting into more words, still
forward, she has more worth.
This is Stewart.
A sales clerk, tucked-in shirt
buttoned down deserving
more than the numbers he is serving.
This is Pete.
A sweat bead, cured concrete,
rain, snow, summer heat;
moving til the ends meet.
This is Anthony.
From the age of three, who to be?
Unmasked masculinity
"Be a man" - feel the swell, hold a hand.
This is Kay.
Night and day,
feelings fold a thousand ways
waiting for the sun to stay.
This is Louis.
An old dog with few tricks,
but the truth is -
Nothing's useless.
This is Amal.
Studying the recipe for refuge,
sewing her brothers shoes,
once more refused.
This is Drew.
For all they knew 
or could have known,
to choose to see or to be shown.
This is Florence.
In between moments of unrest 
She could sense, no defense
Beyond bodies we only rent.
This is Dawn.
A retail pawn, her smile 
drawn on with fluorescents,
"That will be eleven dollars and ten cents."
This is Dallas.
We will have won, for the water
the soil, your son and daughter
One with the land, we stand.
This is Michael.
An irretrievable intellectual
marching tall into
thickened white fog.
This is Romona. 
She knew of love
intense in chroma,
her own Jehovah.
This is Jim.
Forgive him...
should he sin, dying to live within 
and without doubt after doubt.
This is Amanda.
She walks with pattern
Of human-held standard
Still random but planned some.
This is Levy. 
Searching for a beginners guide
a sense of time
how to receive and unwind.
This is Rose.
Every time the lake unfroze
seasons of thought and home
exposed, memory juxtaposed.
Thank You!
Sunday Sonder: Portrait Poems

Sunday Sonder: Portrait Poems

Sunday Sonder is a portrait poem series about the lives and existence of strangers; these are their stories.