A Subway Ride to the Divine

Since living in NYC I find my subway rides a great space for my Spiritual work.  It started as a place to catch up with my reading and it has progress to a place where I can catch up with my contemplation.  My favorite exercise is to look around and ask my self if I can observe the Divine in the faces I see.  Yes, I can probably be the creepy guy staring at you now and then.  You would be surprise what you will find when you look for the sameness in your commuting brothers and sisters.

I found this poem from the always inspiring OnBeing website.  I just love the way Ms. Simmons captures the extraordinary presence of Grace on a mundane subway ride.  


Subway Prayer


From her neck, a plastic rosary dangles
like a child, swinging.
With poker-player precision,
she rations coins and cigarettes with her man
who drinks Jack Daniels
on a Bronx-bound 2 train.

Hail Mary, full of grace.
The Lord is with thee.

On-lookers drink in faded lipstick lips,
older white woman,
her younger black lover,
his hair, small,
cotton-ball knots,
crimson eyes and lipstick-stained lips.
Intoxicating lust.

Blessed art thou amongst women,

A beggar, heavy, duck-taped like his wheelchair,
stumbles into the train car,
fragrant with human waste.
He speaks of a world that hurls him
into subterranean fundraising.

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

He makes his rounds,
wheelchair, clinking against iron poles.
Open hands,
in front of potential donors.
He wishes God blessed him
with a winning deck of cards.

Holy Mary, Mother of God.

To the lovers,
he huffs.

Pray for us sinners.

The gambling-pair captures him
in the midst of trading nickels and Marlboros,
gives the begging man
hoping for a better hand.