I am a retired professor of English, emerita, Montclair State University where I spent many happy and productive years. Now I mostly write poems, enjoy my summers in Springs, East Hampton in a house near the bay, attend opera and string quartet concerts when I can. I haven't given up my love of cooking, guacamole, my specialty.
Going down the subway steps,
I hold the rail tightly,
panting a little as I descend,
my legs going slowly, my knees adjusting.
I let others pass me
until the underworld takes over.
Down here there is no wind,
no clouds, no sky, no ocean.
I swipe my Metro card,
careful to hold it the right way.
People pass through turnstiles
like Shades. I follow them
down the long dark tunnel,
we who have given up our rights to the sun.
There are hundreds of us trying to live
in this new world. Down here,
we are immortal.
Two or three minutes until the beast comes,
that will carry us to our new connection.
I know no one.
A woman stands to give me her seat.
On board a poster in Spanish says:
Cuidado de la puerta de cierre.
Be careful of the closing door.
It follows me everywhere:
London’s Chiswick Gardens,
the Earl Grey tea leaves at the bottom
of my Wedgewood cup.
In fortune cookies, it dares me
to believe their sayings.
On the Underground it hangs
from a strap, hassling me to get off.
It sashays into my kitchen, demanding breakfast.
Among commoners who stand
at the Globe Theatre, it gives me the finger.
Shakespeare’s King Richard II,
only Act II and he’s about to be overthrown,
©2018 Carole Stone
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