choo choo

Men with bags slung
over their shoulders
and, tired, heads hung,
roll along like boulders,
eager to board the train.

Women, with legs so pert,
shuffle along invisible lanes
and raise their eyes, alert,
to one of the approaching trains
whistling its shrill song.

All aboard, we slump
into seats and await
the jut and jump
that is the eternal fate
of locomotion.

Serious faces now gaze
at glowing electronic screens,
while others sift through the maze
of elbows and knees
in search of seats.

A man in uniform, curt but pleasant,
strolls through the aisles,
is met with pursed lips, like a peasant,
tolerated but understood to be miles
from his life’s station.

A gaggle of children squeak
and chitter like finches
while disapproving stares, however meek,
compel a shy mother to dole out soft pinches
in an effort to quiet the delightful critters.

Body odors waft up into the sun’s heat,
mix and mingle, bake, and stir
into a melange of lilac and sweat;
it is unique, this smell, both demure
and strong, and we will never smell it again.

Heads move, each to a different tune,
Some rock front and back,
Others sway like the tides of the moon;
yet others twitch, their necks crack,
to forceful sounds only they can hear.

Many bodies fill these cars,
and yet they are solitary;
eyes drift up, as if drawn by stars,
and that silence of solitude, so insulary,
fills the space.

Scenes race by, and blur
streaks of green, orange, and red,
make me feel like a wolf, my furs
flowing in the wind, and I shed
my humanity for just a moment.


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