Poetry: Commuting

TP, Baile Átha Cliath

It takes me two buses to get to work.
I’m up at 5, cross the park at the end of the estate,
Light a cigarette while waiting for the first bus into town.


If you haven’t seen it,
At this time of morning, at this time of year,
The sky is the colour of dark denim.

This route isn’t supposed to stop on O’Connell Street, but it does anyway.
This morning the butch woman with kind eyes gives me a look of recognition;
I wonder if she looks forward to seeing me every morning too.

Ours is a silent solidarity,
Recognising each other’s queerness &
That we’re both mad to be up this early,
But a job is a job, right?


I can’t see the sun from the stop outside McDonald’s –
I know it must have risen by now,
At this time of morning, the sky is the colour of a white t-shirt going grey.


I have to bite the inside of my lip to stay awake on the second bus.
This morning the only other person who ever gets off at my stop doesn’t look up;
I notice we’re wearing the same red Penneys’ canvas shoes.
She takes the turn before mine &
I wonder what else we have in common.

I promise myself I’ll join the union tonight.


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