The Commuter

Five in the morning
Alarm gently beeps
The house is still snoring
But I’ve had my sleep
Slide from the covers
Not making a stir
I may rouse the others
But, God, don’t wake her

Avoid all the boards
That I know to creak
Squeeze through the door
Just so it won’t squeak
Switch on the light
To the landing and stairs
Don’t stand on the cat
Who I know will be there

Sealed in the bathroom
Time to be grooming
Need to be out soon
And look like a human
Step in the shower
To wash off the night
I’ve less than an hour
To make myself bright

Now done with all that
I head off downstairs
Avoiding the cat
And her ‘please feed me’ glare
My clothes are all hanging
Down in the back room
To keep me from banging
Around in the gloom

So dressed, it’s that patch
When my brain marks the dread
For the need of the watch
That I left by the bed
On tiptoe I creep
To the top of the stair
They’re still all asleep
So no problem there

In darkness I reach it
As quiet as can be
So perfectly silent
Cat looks on with envy
Then, pleased with the win
I start to decamp
The cat breaks a grin
As I knock off the lamp

My heart stops
My breath stops
I freeze
And I’m numb
She sighs
And she rolls
In that moment
I run!

Coffee and lunch packed
I leave for the train
I have to give some thanks;
At least there’s no rain
The streets are quite empty
At this time of day
Give it an hour
And that will all change

No-one at the station
Except the news stand
And here the odd pigeon
That swoops down to land
Water drips down
From the baskets of flowers
And makes little rivers
And puddles and showers

I’m first one to board
And the carriage is bare
The choice is still hard;
I can sit anywhere
The seat with the crisp bag?
The one with the stain?
Not this with the tear in
Did they clean this train?

I’ve chosen, I’m seated
That’s it for an hour
This trains over-heated;
Could do with a shower
I twitter some, text a bit
Facebook and mail
Then nod off to sleep
And trust network rail

Two changes later
With coffee in hand
I get off in London
The heart of the land
It’s not too much diff’rent
From where I just was
Just far more people
And pigeons and noise

My journey has ended
Commuting by train
Until the days over
When I’ll do it again

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