J Train in September

Diana Senechal

Sounds the first gong of fall.
I get in line
behind the cloud I know by shape as mine.
Like a shawl
it ripples with my shivers. Like a wolf
relieved of frame, unrolling from its growl,
it settles into a grey hush of self.

Clank, staircase to the train.
Who walks this way
must have been born to the same shape as I.
Pounding rain,
brother push, stranger veer. Hope swell and sag.
Now the old wisdom drops from the family line,
and I am left with my own bag to lug.

Doors close, chug starts.
They sit in groups,
crowing about the jerks who tore their coops.
Chicken arts,
rage of lost prison, yearning for the mesh,
pecking the earth in vain for petty cash,
not I, I lie. I come from different parts.

We get off at the same stop.
Our clumsy loads
bump here and there until they take their roads.
My grey-green hope
is for a tie of tongue, a pull of lake,
a taut, well-knotted story, and a break
from the loud loop, the grip of the group-rope.