Commute

She closes her eyes on the subway,
and clenches her teeth against the barrage
of useless noise coming out of the screens
wired above them.
When they reach the quieter moments
in their loops she lets them open again,
and watches the walls of the tunnel
mix together with the flashing lights,
bound by the motion blur.

Kids in hand me down t-shirts, from previous
decades, give themselves away with graphics
pointing to canceled T.V. shows and long ended
concert tours.
She wonders to herself what it would be like
watching her children, today, walking around
in fabric from her twenties.
She stopped when she began to want to cry.

An older man, with an orange feather
pinned to the right strap of his backpack,
was sitting two seats to the left of her.
He leans over and asks what she is looking at.
Her response was just to say “as little as possible,” which
made them both laugh, but only slightly.
It was the kind of laugh that says to someone,
let’s just end it here, and so they did
and just kept riding on in silence.

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