The Man

June 13, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I've always been taken with Thoreau's quote, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."  I thought I would try to update it for modern times. There is also a reference in this poem to Bruce Springsteen's line, "Is a dream a lie if it don't come true, or is it something worse?"

 

The Man

 

The man backs out of his driveway,

early, to catch the train. He passes the

garbage man, whistling while hefting barrels.

“Is he happier than I?” the man wonders.

 

At lunch on the corner, the server

pleasantly hands him his food.

“Are his dreams alive, are they simply lies,

or are they something worse?” the man asks.

 

On the evening train, he steals

glimpses of fellow travelers.

“Do their smiles mask

quiet desperation?” the man ponders.

 

Late at night the man listens

to his wife breathing beside him,

far away in dreams. He stares at dark shadows

falling on the floor.


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