Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Poetic Asides Wednesday Challenge prompt "when you're not paying attention" Wed.May 11.2011

Leave My Innocence Intact, Please

“How is it possible to expect that mankind will take advice,
when they will not so much as take warning?”

She was all business, walking briskly – headed for the turnstile
When she wheeled around and came back to where I was
puzzling over the Metro sign, trying to figure out what I needed

“Hon?” Her voice though soft, had an edge, fine as a carving knife
“Before we get you your tickets, you do that bag up right now, hear?”
I glanced behind me at my large tote, gaping wide, as per usual

Bemused, I looked into her eyes and was met with unflinching grey steel,
“You’re in New York City girl,” she chided. “If you haven’t been robbed
already – well, I’m going to stand right here until you zip up that bag.”

True to her word, she stepped back, crossed her arms across her chest
and waited and watched while I squatted beside my over-packed bag,
re-arranged things, so I could finally push the sides together and zip it

“Mmmm hmm – there you go,” she said, turning to the board with me
“Now, where you off to?” And I showed her and told her I only needed
 a one-way ticket and how did I go about getting one of those ...

To her credit, she handled me with great forbearance from there on
explaining that no-one would buy just one ticket – ever – insisted
I buy at least five dollars worth – and was I glad I did when I missed a stop

Who knew you had to pay to get back on and go the other way?
Well – I would have had to if a kindly Metro worker hadn’t spotted
me, helped me carry my luggage across 42nd and told the woman manning

The gate there – “she missed her stop boss – she’s a Canadian – let her on”
And, they did – just like that – as if being Canadian was like being
Handicapped, they opened that gate (for my luggage, but still)

And my extra ticket was saved for the return trip back to Penn Station
Wherein a whole other story was born but that’s for another time.


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