Eric Greenwell

(Quincy, IL)


I don't use a car.
Just mass transit in Paris–
sputtering by, engines cranking,
gears grinding, tires whirring.
Carry us all to work.
Cramped in small spaces–
2,153,600 inhabitants.
I squeeze in too.
I squeeze into the train
to work nine to five,
and get to see all of Paris
from a rail car window.
I pass every single monument
every single day. The tower,
always standing up and out–
dark steel, negative space
against a gray sky. I see
Napoleon's Arc de Triomphe
and gothic Notre Dame, I see it all
from a rail car window.
Passing men taking up burdens,
opening doors for each lady,
pulling out her seat,
complimenting her clothes,
hair, and face. I should buy
flowers–tulips and datur
growing and blooming,
sheared from their roots,
cut at the stem, as a gift
for my wife at home,
her forearms bearing down
on dough with a rolling pin.
But flowers at side shops
cost extra that I don't make.
And I can't make more
because art school cost
too much. This is Paris
from a rail car window–
A man there clearing his throat,
A women coughing,
And a train rumbling by.
Then the rain comes, suddenly,
beating down on heads,
windows, and sidewalks.
I need a vacation–
maybe Chicago, or New York.

Submitted: Sunday, July 01, 2007
Edited: Friday, March 18, 2011

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  • Jack Tex (7/1/2007 12:42:00 PM)

    This is one hot poem, you have a great way of choosing words and bringing together ideas, that's hot, anyway. (Report) Reply

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