Thursday, April 25, 2024

morning commuter

he was earth-skinned and sky-scarred
with his dark brown jacket, black beanie,
dark jeans and black shoes

he got in the transit train to Toronto & stood
with left hand cupping his ear, conversing about
rides, station stops for the entire 30 minutes ride

was he talking to God?
because his jacket elbows & sleeves were
frayed & tattered, as well as his jeans & worn shoes

his fingers keep pointing to the train subway
map, marking his destination to the west, further
than my stop.   he did not sit down but stood pacing

and talking by the exit doors.   his voice - 
a lost wind, a lone bird without a flock -
swearing & mocking to the invisible party

was he talking to God?
because his hands were empty
because his pockets were empty

his eyes, the black sun
or was it a black pearl?   or was it my
eyes reflecting back, wanting daylight to arrive

& banish the darkness from the tall stranger

Posted for dVerse Poets Pub - OpenLinkNight - Join us when the pub doors open at 3pm EST.


  1. Oh i love it, you describe him so well... I do remember when cellular phones with hands free were a new thing and you could meet those people who seemed to talk to themselves... saying obvious things like "I am on the subway" right into the air...

  2. an evocative ride which ends with such a flourish of introspection

  3. Your wonderful descriptions keep us moving through the stanzas. You remind that one never knows who God is listening to.

  4. The mad and the holy are so seamless, and it is up to the poet to figure out how both say yes. How did Emerson call it? The "transparent eyeball" must see through its own black holes.

  5. Grace, your compassion shines through here. So many guesses on how they got to just this place. Gentle, effective imagery that has me caring for this gentleman also.

  6. Wonderful concrete imagery of your surroundings throughout, and your last few lines really bring it home. My hat is off!

  7. The specific details painted a scene I could see.

  8. He came to life. I saw him too.

  9. You paint a scenario that we all must have seen sometime but never paid attention to. Love the details and the empathetic tone. Now we all see the invisible man but are mystified like you about that someone on the other end.

  10. You tell a good tale here - paint this character and the narrator's reaction so well Grace...

  11. Grace, your poem is a tale oft witnessed .. I hope with all my might, responses to such a scene are more gentle than harsh.

  12. You make this commuter so recognizable, Grace, so sympathetic in your wish to "banish the darkness from the tall stranger." Especially loved "his voice -
    a lost wind, a lone bird without a flock -"

  13. I've seen him too! You picture him so well - an excellent poem Grace.

  14. Captivating and subtly mysterious. I really like these lines: “or was it my
    eyes reflecting back, wanting daylight to arrive”


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