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 thousands of 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.

Chattering students whose speech in my language I can’t follow,
making their way to some assignment downtown,
bolstering their hope of unfolding a new potential.

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 wondrous, unplotted exploration of the terminal.

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, her paces embossed on the concrete,
recalculating continuously as she jousts on her phone with her ex-husband in El Salvador—
can she can send this month’s remittance
to let her son continue his education?

I thrust past these lives, like the wind, heading toward a destination not of our choosing, or none at all.

Andy Oram
May 26, 2018

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