Sunday, July 01, 2012

The Cultural Subway

Looking down at a busy subway station,
people rush about,
having only minutes left to catch their subway.

There’s a stay-at-home dad with two toddlers,
who are crying for lollipops and other types of candy,
even though they're going to meet their working mother for dinner.

And a young woman
just trying to get by on her own
in a world where so many people don’t speak her language.

They get on board the same subway car,
finding a seat wherever they can.
Among the strangers there’s a woman staring into the space across from her,
holding a briefcase like it contains her life.
She’s wearing a heavy fur coat
even though it’s the middle of spring.

Across the isle there’s a young man
with a blood red shirt,
and white laced sneakers...
They bring out the dark contrast of his skin.
He’s slouched down the way all teenagers slouch
just trying to get a little sleep.

A little girl is jumping up and down on her aunt’s lap,
excited to be going to the mall
then to the movies.

No one knows exactly what others may be thinking,
if their thoughts are those of their life,
or of their surroundings.
But no matter what,
the subway is a place where all cultures combine
without even having to acknowledge them.


  1. I like how this creates a tableau sort of image in my head. It's like this is going to lead into something cool. It's sad that each other's lives aren't really acknowledged :[ Very representative of real life,sadly.

    1. Maybe I'll have to write more on it... but I actually wrote this back in ninth grade (2009). It was an assignment to write from another character's POV or use it to develop more characters based on the poem "On the Subway" by Sharon Olds.


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