Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Mind the Gap

Clutching my ticket to gotham
The clickty-clack rocking of
The 8am commuter train
And the hours lost to late night TV
Lulls me into a drowsy half sleep

Power poles flying past the window
Create the flickering effect of old film
Small farms, battered cars, the odd cow
Become mute actors in a documentary
Shown on a tired school projector

The screeeeeeech of train brakes
Signal the arriving station
The other commuters gather their bags
Securing laptops and mp3 players
For the jostling race for the exits

Too tired to compete, I hang back
On the platform a half naked boy begs for coins
His mother a sleeping bundle of denim
Inattentive against the station wall
His gaze intersects mine

Lost in his brown eyes
I wait too long
And almost miss my habitual stop
I stumble up and fall off the train
Just as it begins to move again

The jarring change of momentum
Pains my shins and blurs my vision
Multiple boys, six or seven
Swim before my blinking eyes
I don’t know which child to give my change to

I hand them each a dollar
And stumble toward the exit’s glare
The billboards mocks me
And my lack of lunch money
Mind the gap

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