By Joseph Hesch
In winter, the commute’s the same,
but the trip is so different.
I drive these glazed donut highways,
clogged commuter arteries
that would give me a heart attack
if I let them, or if I had the heart
for all this anymore.
Headed east to work yesterday I could
barely make out the stop-and-go
chain gang of prisoners in our
four-wheel jail cells because of
the low aspect of Warden Winter's
bloodshot eye, with which I played
the staredown game.
Lost again. I always lose.
I could put the car in neutral
and still make it a couple of miles
before I would have to touch the wheel,
change my course from the
unnatural migration of which I am part.
Some birds are just like me,
they don’t migrate from this chill either.
I see them out my driver’s side window,
chains of starlings, shivering wing-to-wing,
stretching pole-to-pole --
roadside rosaries praying
for bread and a compass
that points south.
And now the final snowy flair
to a winter commute begins.
Flakes so big I can hear them
hit the window and so heavy
the trees will bow to their gravity,
their serious intent to remind me
who's really boss on my trip in.
This snow-light December
will turn into a bully soon enough,
snapping me awake to its will
with all the comfort of a white,
wet blanket whipped towel-like
to my bucket-seated backside.
If you know anything about me--real me and poet me--you know I have this love/hate relationship with winter and my workday world. Put them together and you come up with "The Trip In," this week's effort for dVerse Poets Pub's Open Link Night.