Commute

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The opening is sterile, bloodless, a necessary nexus;
nature lingers, lapping at the heels of my passing.
A sparrow stills my hand upon the handle,
and I am why he cocks his head in thought before he flies away.
My smile outlives the practiced sigh and tired breath
that exits from the station door I enter through.

What an oceanic breadth of human effort
all aflutter in a worrisome tick-tock of shoes
busy below business suits and wrinkled casual wear
and not one upturned face!
I wonder as I wander at the station’s syncopation,
at the periodic rise and fall of expectation,
the swift chaotic shift into symbolic rows,
the wordless orchestration of arrival and departure,
and at the few who huddle in the eddies:
those celebrants of fundless freedom without direction
sifting through errant moments with dented mining pans.

Along a wall a lesser beast unseen by all but me
outleaps the milling press with ready speed
in search of some unguarded prize,
and brings to mind a bird a world away
beyond the station doorway’s hum and hiss.

My train erupts into the tunnel and I squeeze aboard,
untouched amid the social sea and its seething proximity;
in a daze I locate a seat and await velocity’s shove.
It comes with a reverent hush,
and as the silence slowly fills with quiet conversation
all that holds my interest is reduced to a window
where everything lives but me.

© William Keller, 2014

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Comment

What a sad commentary on what our society, in large part, has become.  I am always amazed when I use this type of public transportation how people are dead set on not making contact with one another.  Says a lot about us as a species, I think.

How grateful I am that I live in a more rural area, where people go out of their way to make contact with each other.  Life just wouldn’t be worth living without human contact.

Mark Vincent

Albatross
Vertiginous Autumn