Morning On The New York Subway


Louder, the distant rumble grows,
Heralds approaching release, for those
Of that vast breathless, milling flock,
Replenished from some limitless stock,
Who stand at junction of rail and floor.
The vanguard of some implacable foe
That squirms and flows, this way and that,
Filling every nook and cranny with fat
And thin alike, sans rule of law.
Meshing pieces of a sentient jigsaw.
Braving maw of subterraneous beast,
To keep a date with labors feast.

Once inside, impelled by unseen will,
The press grows even closer still,
As one after another, with frantic rush,
Those intrepid souls who move they must,
Find space for self where ‘ere was none.
And even then, the battle’s not won.
Like compressed squeeze of giant bellows,
The closing doors pack tight and close,
Such shrinking flesh as must endure,
Long endless minutes, before same door
Will open, at subsequent stop,
And disgorge its overflowing crop.

But oh, what slight respite is gained,
By the subtraction thus attained.
As more brave souls storm carriage door,
With trampled foot and throbbing toe.
Hoping to join the disconsolate throng,
While those inside, complain anon.
And having gained passage forthwith
Journey to honor the affluence myth.
Knowing full well, at travels end,
Though misery cease, and fortunes mend,
That these proceedings will encore,
When morning comes around once more.

— Bryan Knower

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