Thursday, February 27, 2014

Commuting Life - Poetry Jam

Commuting Life

We walk the same path every day
Straggle on and off the trains
Sometimes blink and look away
Eyes following a million planes
Looking everywhere but at each other
Separated only by air and fabric
Our hearts beat common dreams
Hidden behind peacoats and blazers
Beating insistently to the rhythm
Of wheels on rails, thrumming
Clunking, swaying us ever on
Toward the work a day world

Later tread the same way back
Looking rumpled and worn
Earbuds giving a dose of news
Bass line thrum tapping fingers
Gazing glass-eyed out the windows
Eying signage and the buskers
Balancing flowers or the paper
A bag of produce or a bottle of wine
Looking up with heads lolling
Drooping downward on seats to nap
Staring past neighbors to watch
Evening sun as we race homeward

One day I’ll tire of the anonymity
Smile at you and speak up
Perhaps we’ll talk sports or weather
Share a seat and clink water bottles
Discover the common things we share
Chuckle over a cute child across the car
Recommend dinner spots along the way
Give each other an elbow of farewell
A quick ‘See ya’ as we head back
To our separate worlds

... shared with others at Poetry Jam


  1. Oh I really relate to this piece. I take the Vancouver Sky Train, a lot. I've noticed packed people never look at each other - or speak to each other, for that matter. But two people, alone at a bus stop - will, often, talk.

    1. Yeah Wendy. I always look at the line of people's vision and imagine all those lines extending out into space and intersecting too far away like some vast geometry lesson. Perhaps they'll meet in some parallel universe and actually communicate. Geeky, I know, but it's weird what one thinks about on a bobbing commuter train.

  2. Sometimes it is hard to shed the anonymity and begin to talk with a stranger....but if one finally breaks down the barrier and start talking it can really feel good, as evidenced by the last stanza of your poem. Who knows! We might even find a new friend. I enjoyed this, Susan.

  3. Great commuting poem, Susan! I understand that one might get tired of the anonymity after so much time spent with the same people every day, twice a day. I wonder whether people ever make friends.

  4. You are an excellent observer. This had me feeling just as if I were on the T (I've only been once and that was enough), but the final lines have me grinning.

  5. I like this description of how anonymous such routine travel can be despite such close proximity! Well done.

  6. see this is why i love traveling by mass many stories in the same place....many of which will never connect until that magic morning that someone smiles...and a connection is made....its interesting to me...ha....

  7. Excellent observation that has transformed into an interesting write.. :)