The welcome expressed in a stilted manner,
in response to my initial reticence.
Helpfulness issued from your heart,
in response to a word of appreciation.
A specific compliment,
received with a rehearsed reply,
punctuated with a fleeting smile,
giving way a growing sense of ease.
Ensuring the comfort of each guest,
conveyed by intent yet undone by image.
Oblivious to the message broadcast via dress code,
focused on fulfilling anticipated and imagined needs.
Assuming the role of diligent concierge,
lacking the sheen or polish of the trade.
Wearing your intentions on your sleeve,
striving to shake your former life.
Distancing yourself from the realities of a harsher life,
not realizing the extent of the gap.
While engaged in the realm of valid employment,
the shadows of your past a constant companion.