Thanks for reading!
2008 yielded 366 haiku about people I saw on trains, buses, sidewalks and transit stops. (Plus 50 more not listed here about Philadelphia in general, as part of Moira Moody’s Philadelphia Scrapbook project: see here, here, here, here, and here.) The project rewarded me for keeping my ears and eyes open, teaching me not to take my surroundings for granted. Thank you so much for following!
there’s a buzz on new year’s, and i don’t just mean the passengers are buzzed.
her legs are splayed to guard her giant suitcase on both overstuffed sides.
they seem like they’re on a first date; and he should’ve sprung for a taxi.
everyone looks plump and proud in new clothes after their holiday breaks.
apologetic, she protests when i stop the car on her behalf.
a child wets his pants. i’ll forget tomorrow; he’ll always remember.
large, bright, dressed all in green, she reminds me of a smiling christmas tree.
they’re overdressed and grinning, vibrating with love and shared excitement.
people visiting family in south jersey wear their finest sweats.
i always smile when i see someone board with a hot casserole dish.
i could swear that she’s turning out her ankles so her boots’ fringe will twirl.
she marches, her clothes as neat and bland as any marching band costume.
old man keeps glancing at his wrist, despite the fact that he has no watch.
men in cabbie hats greeting each other with warm words and warmer smiles.
she pulls a camera out and aims at a stranger. we’re kindred spirits!
her backpack is so stuffed, when she sits, her body arches backwards hard.
i wonder what else he thinks we think he’s drinking from a paper bag.
dyslexic signage: a bus cheerfully offers a “welcome abroad!”
she reads txts aloud: “you’re the first blonde i’ve ever been with. feel special.”
a man talks to a group of kids who mock him while he isn’t looking.
shapeless women in holly berry sweaters make me think, “Christmas!”
groups of college kids subtly advertise what schools each of them hail from.
a thin line of drool slides down onto her red coat, leaving a white stain.
the closer to the holiday, the more space that everyone takes up.
she smooths her hand all over her own skin, checking for imperfections.
“it’s been really hard for me,” she shouts casually to her distant friend.
he thoughtfully spikes his hair, using his blurred, warped window reflection.
she literally rolls out of her car at the stop, but can’t catch up.
reading shopping bags is like reading the yellow pages for this town.
a man in perfect white tennis shoes and ball cap crosses his thin legs.
a group of white kids talk loudly to insulate themselves from the car.
a diner waitress in an old-time uniform has dark eye circles.
a bratty child sprawls across bags and coats, staring at his PSP.
after Thanksgiving everyone carries a bagged lunch with them to work.
she makes someone trade seats with her so she can sit next to an old friend.
i’m certain that some people take newspapers on trains just to look smart.
she flirts ruthlessly, and when he responds, she says, “ew, dude, you’re like, old.”
he spills his coffee, looks around, then places his cup down on the floor.
he makes her laugh ‘til she snorts. it’d be cute if it weren’t so damn loud.
he appears well put together ‘til he lifts his shoe, his ragged sole.
“you have to get an apartment,” she says. he shrugs. she barks, “just do it.”
i assume the two old ladies boarding are friends ‘til they sit apart.
he carries what looks like his only belongings in two big trash bags.
his hair radiates out perfectly from a small, quarter-sized bald spot.
she starts with, “i have to study.” boyfriend ignores: “your hands are so cold!”
he sits next to her, settling in by wiggling his hips into hers.
oh, the contorted faces girls make applying makeup in public.
i can’t see any scalp from where i stand above her. that’s one thick weave.
train stop whose name i’ll never tire of: “South Fish.” i giggle each time.