I ride the train four days a week
In the beginning I didn’t notice much
besides whether I was on the right train or not
Which I wasn’t, sometimes

But now
I’m starting to see

And not just the view out the window

I’m starting to notice familiar faces
And to See the people
Like the young woman who looks so much
As my niece did, 20 years ago
she had dark circles under her eyes
like my niece did, too
It made me wonder what had happened in her young life
That she preferred to stand
over sitting next to a stranger

And the man who wanted to say ‘bless you’
to the woman who sneezed across the aisle from him
but he didn’t
Although reading the paper over someone else’s shoulder
was acceptable

And the woman who comes on sometimes
who I think might be homeless
all her belongings on her in various colors of bags
and containers.
She is always smiling.

And it amazes me how many people say ‘hello’ back
When greeted
And how many pretend they didn’t hear

And I am grateful for the chance to be among them all
To remember my humanity
To watch the cars racing by frantically
On the other side of the train window
As I sit with the strangers


I ride the train four days a week
And the bus, too
A journey started out of necessity
Because a car broke down

Now I do it by choice
Even though it takes me twice as long to get home
For the movement of my body
And the Echo of my heart

It reminds me who I am
And where I’ve been
And where I’m going


© J. Porter 16 October 2008


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