what we carry

(For some reason whenever I come to a new city these days I end up writing a poem about its public transit system. This is the result of an observation I made while on the metro this morning.)

This is a city that carries its life around in bags–

Backpacks and messengers full of data, education;
Purses and totes containing whatever small necessary mysteries
A woman knows she may or may not need that day;
Satchels of gym clothes, cast-off uniforms, ties,
Work hours folded up or crumpled into a small package.

We carry books, newspapers foisted on us by
Bright stands or men in orange vests,
Music piped straight into our skulls,
Chewing gum, pens,
Planners, to-do lists,
Worries, hopes, dreams, tasks, prayers.

And we hold close to our chests
Or to our sides
All the stuff
That gets us through
Just one more day.


3 thoughts on “what we carry

  1. Hannah

    you are good, sister.

    have you read seamus heaney’s “district and circle”? as a complete nerd (of both the arts and public transit sort), i bought the book of poetry that contains that poem and read it while riding the district and circle lines in london. nerd alert. but it’s so good. you’ll like it.

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