Driving and Biking in the Big City

Transformation from home to work

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Clarence t-shirt

Smooth riding with Clarence

He pops his head over the gnawed, wooden fence
And looks at me with love and longing.

We make our peace with my departure,
And I reverse out the long, friendly driveway.

The neighborhood is a still-life photograph
With no movement but me.
A glisten of dew makes home sparkle.

A basketball in the gutter, a bicycle, wheels up in the park.
A lone teen-ager waiting for a school bus, hoody and earphones pulled tight against invasion.

I pull open the sun/moon roof and watch dawn break.
Midnight blue to grey to pink to yellow. Mottled clouds form my companions.

Then, it’s the straight-away to the freeway
With its Starbucks, strip malls and fast food.

I turn onto the highway at the lime green couch
And pass a mattress, a fishing pole, a broken boat.

Halfway is marked by Fiesta, La Tienda, Arandas and Taco Cabana.
They identify my hometown, my home state.

I cross from suburbia to the city, concrete and crowds.
Up ahead, the skyline of Houston breaks through the smoky clouds, just like the Rockies.

Manmade but majestic with low wisps playing hide and seek with the peaks.
A challenge of structure and nuance and energy.

Straight through downtown by the courthouses
And the potential jurors called to court to uphold the peace and law of a melting pot,
sometimes boiling pot.

Suits, briefcases, umbrellas and overstuffed bags.
A grease-bottomed pastry sack, a steaming cup of coffee.

An elderly woman walks with her dowager back at a right angle.
I feel the pain and strain from my comfortable seat in the car.

A young man folds his sleeping bag from the open space in front of Hermann Park.
A line forms outside the church, serving breakfast.

Everyone is different; everyone needs to eat.
Volunteers, homeless, reasoning and unreasonable.

First suits, then mismatched rags, now scrubs.
Flower shops, uniforms, wheelchair and scooter sales.

We are now in the bustling business of medicine and patients,
Caretakers and care-givers, confused and calm.

I make one last turn before I enter the parking lot.
Look through the open roof and take a deep, long breath.

The sky is clear and blue and efficient.
I close the hatch, snap on my badge and step into the day.


Written by commuterchroniclesdbh

February 13, 2013 at 8:14 pm

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