Public Displays of Thinking by Betsy Schaffer

I’ve seen it before. Maybe a frown or a chin scratch. Something telling the world that someone is thinking. This time it was someone I knew. I saw him at lunch walking alone. His hands were preacher-like at a pulpit, moving together, then up and down. They were trying to tell the church something important. His mouth was moving, too. Lips that couldn’t quite close right because of the emphasis placed on the jaw. His eyes were motionless and his back was hunched from a bit of age and bad posture. Yet he walked the entire length of the street not seeing the space in front of him. His memory his guide stick. When I saw him later that day, I told him that I had seen him walking alone at lunch. I made a joke that he looked a bit crazy talking to himself that way. He agreed. He paused, thinking again.

Betsy Schaffer is captivated by, and curious about, the translation of thoughts into words. Her poems have been published in “More Voices, A Collection of Works from Asian Adoptees” (Yeoung & Yeoung Book Company, 2011), and “River Blood and Corn,” A Community of Voices Literary Journal. Her poems can be found at, and her other writings at Thank you for reading and hopefully enjoying her words.