By Irene Sipos
Sitting across the aisle
on the B train
I look at the row of weary faces
various shapes, sizes, colors, ages,
a horizontal explication of what it means
to have woken many mornings
to brave routine, to leave concerns at home
along with scattered laundry and unwashed
dishes to head for same/same at work.
I picture each of you, one at a time. I try to
observe without you knowing and suddenly I
see round, soft faces, no creases in foreheads,
no wrinkles like parentheses around eyes, no down
turned mouths, no slumped shoulders. I see the plump
babies you once were. And with that, a rush of hoping
that you were affectionately held on generous laps, that
you were sung tender songs, that you were offered
a bowl of blueberries as initiation to the messy pleasures
of this world. I hope that occasionally you reach back,
even if only briefly to recall your beginning self as a
visitor new to the planet, unencumbered and dear.
Contributor's Note: IRENE SIPOS taught composition at SUNY Buffalo State and later was a full-time lecturer in the College Writing Program prior to her recent retirement. She is a native Buffalonian who completed her graduate work in American literature at the University at Buffalo with Robert Creeley and Leslie Fiedler. Her work has appeared in many publications including Earth’s Daughters, Lilth magazine, the Comstock Review, and in the anthologies Buffalo Book of Poetry, Buffalo Poets Against War and A Celebration of Western New York Poets.