It is becoming a regular thing again.

Though now they don’t see

the computer bag,

or the walking gate,

or the smile

that hangs loose on my face.


They don’t make eye contact

they don’t even see my hat.

They just size me up

they clutch their seats and bags

and glance around at the kids

in their sly veil of untrust.


Then I sit and wait

for their eyes to drift .

Over my large physique

checking their notes,

examining skin tones

and searching for signs

of violence in my jeans

and dress shirts

waiting for me to react.


Their fear is real

and cannot be denied.

They casually tell their friend

they know a few cops

and they study mixed martial arts.


Just putting out there.

Just loud enough.

Just in case.


I have become third class again.

I am scraping the bottom to feed.

It’s so great and so big, but somehow

I have lost my country.

If it was ever mine.

I guess it’s time

I will just have to set it free,

but I don’t figure

it will ever come back to me.

Published by James Gabriel