Caitlyn Neville // THE MBTA

Passengers swaddled in scarves

A swathe of eyes

Studying cell phones


Or the map of the squealing train.

The man next to me silently stares

Into his thick,

layered coat.


Mom is standing, holding on

While I sit,

Careful not to let my polka dot tights

Brush the man in the thick jacket.


I look down at the cookie

Slowly crumbling in my lap.

It wasn’t as sweet as I liked.


I hate this cookie.”


“We don’t say hate honey”


No more than a sideways glance

From those sitting near us.

Not even a breath

From the man in the coat.


“But we hate the Yankees?”


The moaning T erupts

Giggles and cheers

Warming the air.

Scarves unravel from their unyielding homes

As hats and hand warmers quake

Humming in harmony from their patron’s laughter.


“You’ve got a smart girl,” the man says.