Morning Commute by Rachel Ivens

Tramping his usual route, he limps wildly

and reeks of stale sweat and cigarettes.

Calloused fingers caress

the contours of fences, walls and hedgerows.


Approaching, we grimace,

self satisfied. Or, worse still, shrink away:

his grotesque pock-marks and ill-fitting wellies


suddenly contagious.


We prefer him on the ground,

along with the littered beer cans, discarded chewing gum and other trash

that we choose to ignore.


There, we may avoid his gaze, his offending entreaty,

and sip our coffee

in peace.