The City Train

First stop of the day, but this is just another day of days.

That’s how trustworthy and reliable this train is.


Only locals understand the love,

For riding on the stained machine

That runs under our feet.

The loud monster

That connects millions to each other.

Bronx to Long Island,

This train can reach busy corners,

Of places you never bothered to think of,

Accommodating strangers you’ve never met.


The day gets busier and busier,

As the school kids and store runners wake up to alarm clocks.

It’s all work, no play.

Running to get the best spot, and pushing to stay there.

Packed in by 9AM, the children will

Pull out their homework and the nurses will shut their eyes.


Although the seats are

Dingy, and rough,

Each of them,

Will eventually be used as

personal place-holders.

In one day, a man, a woman, a toddler,

Will sneeze, spit and spill on those seats,

Leaving uncomfortable visions for the next rider,

Enough for the public to consider it a petri dish.


If this train is not covered in desecration,

It is covered in thank you notes.

“Thank you” in the form of graffiti,

The form of graphics,

And enough creative expression

For the public to declare it an art exhibition.


Something smells, but it will be ignored

There is nothing to do about it but ignore it.

Reminiscent of the sewer,

This giant mechanical worm will crawl through waste

Grinding on rails to fulfill its duties.

How trustworthy.


When the day cools down,

The train will see the people it dropped off when the day began.

The half asleep, but observant, mother of three

Back after gathering her children, tired out

From their day at school.

The young woman with aching toes,

And a pulsating temple.

Cursing the train in her mind,

For not teleporting to her destination.

The blue-collar man running with his tools,

He has helped the city,

Now the city will help him.


All citizens sitting under the mute light

Still in time, waiting for their stop to be called.

In each other’s presence

And in their own world.


All tired, and ready to go home.

Moving across this big and busy city.

Trusting they will get home,

Because they have used this train before,

And this day is just another day of many days.


By Isa Hamilton


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