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October 31, 2008

Today was a sad day.
Had pho with D.
Shy of Manhattan,
the J enters the king borough
and quickly turns away,
curves back toward Brooklyn.

Then on an everyday Tuesday
afternoon it all at once encrystals:
A bomb-scare morning, the Port Authority
Bus Terminal cleared out by men with badges,
plainclothes, an annoyed commute and late to work.
It was a real tap-tap, sir there’s a line day.

But on the downtown A,
a man next to me’s starting
a book I love. I point and give the thumbs-up.
Then a young woman with an interesting face
and holding a square, clear vase
of purple flowers smiles
at some children in pink, one girl playing
with the other’s ponytail; while a band
whose songs I’ve never been able to get into
suddenly all sound perfect. The lyrics appear
like the scene unfolding before me, into which soon steps
a thugged-out violinist, with an ammo T-shirt
and corn-row braids: He plays,
and, piqued, I pop out my earphones and listen
to subway street-violin, a passionate caterwauling
I’d never known existed.
I give him my last gold Pocahontas dollar
as we ruck into the station, thirty charmed blocks
as the rat scurries.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. scram. permalink
    November 2, 2008 5:43 pm

    These just keep getting better. However, posting two poems in a row that both use the word “ruck” might be a bit much. Make sure to space those poems out in your first collection, or I’ll ruck you up.

  2. Jake Freedom permalink
    November 2, 2008 6:54 pm

    Don’t edit the editor.

    He’s rucking crazy.

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