My Cart 


A Visionary Whose Name I'll Never Know
Max Reif


This is to you, lady who smiled at me
as I came out of the subway at 14th Street

and walked down 6th Avenue in the winter of '74 
having just arrived in New York. Gentle feathers

of snow had just begun falling from the black.
I felt myself taken into your eyes, and suddenly

was no longer a confused young man
wondering whether every next step was the right one

but a light-being, love built into his cells,
leaning forward, poised to give.

Thirty-five years later
I still walk those tunnels of your eyes

down the line of your smile 
toward that person you saw in me.

This poem first appeared on A Year of Being Here.
Used here with the author’s permission.


Max Reif has written thousands of poems and stories since receiving feedback in sixth grade that this was something he could do. Much of his verse involves the beauty that he feels underlies all existence. Sometimes that beauty is seen as, or in, nature; other times Max interprets it as some sort of "supernatural" reality. Max also loves laughter, which he considers another form of beauty, and he often incorporates humor into his poems. He lives in Walnut Grove, California.


Post New Comment:
This poem made my heart beat faster. Really!
Posted 01/07/2016 07:37 PM
B Colvert:
So very nice. Why poetry is written!
Posted 01/07/2016 12:37 PM
"toward that person you saw in me." What a great line!
Posted 01/05/2016 09:54 PM
Max Reif :
Dear friends, I'm bathed in the warmth and light of your comments! I think this is the largest number of little love-notes like these that I've ever received at one time! Feels SO wonderful! NOT ONLY THAT: I read the poem to my wife, who commented: WOW! That is just like the book I just finished (Let the Great World Spin by Collum McCann)! It takes place in New York in 1974 and people are coming out of subways and smiling at one another, just like in your poem!
Posted 01/05/2016 09:03 PM
A remarkable story from the past and your beautiful writing about the scene. What a great gift to have in your life.Thanks
Posted 01/05/2016 07:39 PM
barbara eknoian:
A lovely memory of a welcoming spirit. I recall the winter of 1974 back east was a hard winter.
Posted 01/05/2016 06:38 PM
Shoshauna Shy:
Yes, that final line brings the poem home. Thank you, Max and Jayne!
Posted 01/05/2016 04:39 PM
The ending just stays with me. I love this poem, Max. Thank you.
Posted 01/05/2016 04:36 PM
Agree with Anjie and everyone ~ a great memory shared in this poem, thank you...
Posted 01/05/2016 04:16 PM
Oh that we could remember to give this gift to everyone!
Posted 01/05/2016 02:31 PM
Oh, the ending! I loved it. Thank you, Max.
Posted 01/05/2016 11:55 AM
I'm reminded of the Beatles, "Just an Old-fashioned Love Song." Wonderful.
Posted 01/05/2016 09:48 AM
WOW. . .
Posted 01/05/2016 09:43 AM
This is a lovely reminder of such an incident that once happened to me.
Posted 01/05/2016 09:02 AM
This is lovely.
Posted 01/05/2016 08:35 AM
This poem speaks to my inner need for just such an experience. Thank you Max. Michael Escoubas
Posted 01/05/2016 08:27 AM
A thousand thumbs up!
Posted 01/05/2016 08:22 AM
Glen Sorestad:
Powerful, touching and so illustrative of how memories are so central to who we are.
Posted 01/05/2016 07:57 AM
stunning...every line of it! thank-you:)
Posted 01/05/2016 07:57 AM
Phyllis Beckman:
The last line, "toward that person you saw in me" left me in awe of the terrible, beautiful power each of us possesses.
Posted 01/05/2016 07:07 AM
Loved this miles away #Kenya
Posted 01/05/2016 06:18 AM
Simply beautiful!
Posted 01/05/2016 04:19 AM
Isn't it strange how very small instances can affect you over such a long time - like.......................
Posted 01/05/2016 04:07 AM

Contents of this web site and all original text and images therein are copyright © by Your Daily Poem. All rights reserved.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Purchasing books through any poet's Amazon links helps to support Your Daily Poem.
The material on this site may not be copied, reproduced, downloaded, distributed, transmitted, stored, altered, adapted,
or otherwise used in any way without the express written permission of the owner.