Commuting

The office worker runs across the rush-hour intersection

after the green man has stopped flashing.

We do not follow. We wait as cars churn past.

He runs as though he is still sitting in his swivel chair;

bottom out, knees bent. One hand clutches his bag,

the other his tie, or maybe it is his heart.

Grandma, why is that man running funny?

Because his tie is strangling him.

Because his tummy hurts.

Because he sits so much he can’t straighten;

like your plastic digger driver who is always getting lost

and Grandma finds him when she treads on him

lying on the carpet with both legs in the air,

as though he’s the first man ever to have a gynecological examination.

Why, Grandma, truly?

Because an invisible monster is chasing him.

Because he is a hunter hunting a bus.

Because he doesn’t know the rules or

Because he knows the rules, has played by them all day,

and now wants just one tiny thrill of breaking them.

Because he wants to get home, fast, to see the children

he hasn’t seen all day, only their photos on his phone.

Why?

Just because.

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