I am empty
I have been empty for weeks now.
Is it because I have stopped writing?
Or have I stopped writing because I am empty?
So why do I feel
I must prove it to you?
Because there’s nothing in me
I will tell you about someone I knew
From a distance.
She wasn’t particularly pretty
But you never realized it
Because she had charisma.
A smile you were proud to earn
Bright intelligent eyes
She would decorate the office
Her own, or the common areas
Leaving little pieces of her personality
For you to encounter and delight in.
She could cook food like no one else
And she was good at her job, too.
She fixed your problems without trouble.
She was a bit of gossip
I don’t think she even had a very tender heart
So what was it about her
That fascinated us?
I’ve been trying for years to understand charisma
The it factor
Something to do with being who you are
Something to do with purity
Something to do with confidence.
There are things which defy definition.
There are people who, when described,
Yet if you meet them
You count yourself lucky for having had the experience.
And if they asked you
You would follow them
Without knowing why.
This woman, she retired.
She doesn’t keep in touch
She doesn’t attend functions anymore
She has faded out of casual conversation.
We were never really friends.
But every Halloween and every Christmas
Some of her decorations make it back into circulation
Sometimes one of the long-time staff mentions her fondly
She was popular
Though she is out of my life in almost every sphere
She lingers in my memory
A bright fingerprint on my brain
Unique to her own face and voice and charm.
I didn’t need her, I don’t miss her.
She has made an impact nonetheless.
That is charisma.
That is how
I fail to define it.