For nearly 40 years, I crossed the bay
to work at clerking on an endless list,
to slay the tasks that fund my final pay
though they have cost me neck and eyes and wrist.
And for the most part I had no complaint
commuting – that was time for me, a break
between my roles, a span to reacquaint
myself, or read my book, or jolt awake.
I didn’t see it then – the price I paid
beyond the fare. I fared with scheduled stress,
for buses don’t run frequently or fast,
and BART’s too crowded. Now I note how frayed
I was, compelled to leave, my desk a mess
or quickly cleared, by 5 o’clock harassed.