Like a wind

The wind has turned belligerent, tumbling through town and forcing a hunch into my shoulders.
Crackling like an ice sheet, it overtakes the roadways,
trowls up skittering leaves, rifles dogs’ fur,
and writhes around each garage and house.

On the pavestones where I have traced my lifeline a thousand times,
I race before the squall to the mouth of the subway station.
Its currents urge me into the tunnel.

Each obstacle on the way to the platform prompts me to race faster.

Students whose chatter, even in my own language, I can’t follow,
making their way to some assignment downtown,
to unfold a new potential of which they are the hope.

The security guard shaking off her fourth confrontation of the day,
eyeing a woman who was spewing curses to the crowd,
but who has now calmed down enough to continue her unplotted excursions through the station.

A man with somber blue tie and sandstone face, leaving his third failed job interview,
his portfolio bag dangling uselessly from a tarnished shoulder.

A woman whose slinky limbs twist like a Giacometti, who paces as if embossing her footprints on the concrete,
recalculating continuously as she jousts on her phone with her ex-husband in El Salvador—
can she make sure this month’s remittance
will go toward continuing her son’s education?

I thrust past these lives, like the wind, heading toward a destination not of our choosing, or no destination at all.

Andy Oram
June 5, 2018

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