Crush Hour

Countless minnows swimming upstream
never connecting for fear of reprisals
Suits and hoods and Mardi Gras stragglers
an old man next to the window
drifts away into methylated sleep.

A tattooed man with eyes of flinty stone
just paroled at Her Majesty’s leisure
as always with his back to the wall
He is shoehorned next to a nightclub Queen
in a feather boa, jewels in his beehive hair.

A knot of women in Burqa shrouds
shepherd children past
disembarking for the Western line
A school of private blazers takes their place
the arrogance of youth in a fleeting flare.

Half a dozen penguins rise together
clutching brief cases, in Italian leather shoes
edging past the great unwashed
I-Pods hidden from the thieving hordes
they rush to the gentrified northern shores.

A working girl saunters down the aisle
Darlinghurst’s a mud flat in the rain
All fishnet stockings and spray on tan
she hums Vivaldi like an understudy
while everyone pretends to divert their eyes.

Finally they reach their destination
and the metal Anaconda spews its prey
Onto the platforms the minnows spill
fanning out across the river
they somehow find their way back home.

Copyright Suzanne James 2019

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