I have decided that today I will smile.
It’s raining and yesterday I made soup
and stayed away from the news,
so today I step neatly out of ways
and wait my turn,
and when I avoid collision with a small child
trailing like a kite
in case he looks back,
to show him no harm done
and nothing to worry about.
We’re all going in the same direction.
From this angle the clock which is five minutes fast
is only one side of a three-quarters right clock.
The child stands with his family
in a triangle on the escalator
and I wait with all the time in the world
behind them, beneath the red shadow of my train.
There’ll be another along.
They see theirs a tick too late,
hurry up as the doors close,
but the father has a trick.
He shows his son how to use the world to his advantage,
like any animal teaching its child to hunt, use tools, tell good from bad.
He slips his hand fearlessly between the train’s jaws
don’t fight or it will bark at you or run, spooked–
and the doors open obediently as a shell.