Commute

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Maples aflame in the cold November night
as the bus rolls by, its windows pocked with rain.
The park is empty, the houses nearby are dark
boxes speckled with little squares of light
behind which unseen lives sputter and spark,
burn, collapse to ashes, then blaze again.
Too tired to sleep, too wound up with a day
between two other similar days, I ride
toward my box, relieved to be relieved
by its approach – how many lean away
and wish they had a life to be relived,
not dreams that we’ve inflated or denied?
I’ve had some good years clutching at the ground
with strangers’ talons grasping all around,
entangled threnodies without a sound.

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