Joseph Farley

So we are

Clouds gray the morning light.
Black tires slosh one after another
through the same puddle.

The asphalt glistens, a touch of diamond,
as you stand under an umbrella,
a broken half-circle.

The book tucked under your arm
is already wet.
Drops race down your jacket.

The bus is late. A fact of life.
Strangers stare from car windows
at a fool who does not drive.

Time passes. You watch the tires.
Listen to brakes and sudden skids.
You practice avoidance,

hope the spray misses.
You are lucky. Sometimes.
You will get there, where you’re headed,

with wet socks and stuck pages,
alive, if not on time.
You will not worry long about it.

These are the small things
we live and observe.
They’re rarely fatal.

Just part of the bargain
of living one moment
after another.

All these drops, pearls really,
strung together for us,
making a life some how,

and though we kick and scream
at times
and try hard as we can,

it remains much the same,
a difference of degree only,
between a mild spray and a big splash.

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