9 TO 5

as i ride the metro returning home from my 9 to 5
i look around me and see all these faces
faces transfixed on the glow of their devices
the dull droopy eyes of those who have accepted their 9 to 5

these faces are somehow okay with waiting for the weekend
some are somewhat okay and others are somehow completely okay with bearing the pain
because the weekend is around the corner and soon they will be able to
soothe that pain with some greasy food and a purchase of a gadget or a trinket
that they slaved away for at their 9 to 5

where is that spark in their eyes as they stand here in the train rocking
bathed in the blue glow of their devices
it’s all surrender unwilling toleration slow deterioration
for the sake of hopefully eventual liberation from their 9 to 5

but how are they to break free from the 9 to 5 because to break free from the 9 to 5
you must create a 9 to 5 if not for someone else then for yourself
and it better stay a 9 to 5 because it might turn into a 9 to 4 and then into an 10 to 2
and very soon it will turn into alcohol and poverty and back to someone else’s 9 to 5 you go but
duller looking and more sunken in and that spark in the corner of your eye is nowhere to be found
and this is when you accept you really accept this time your 9 to 5
your 9 to 5

and then forty years go by and you haven’t changed
not much anyway
you said you would but that was forty years ago
the train has changed and the gadgets and the trinkets have changed
but you haven’t changed except you don’t tap your foot nervously anymore
and you don’t hold onto the grab rail as tightly anymore
and you don’t even look at your device anymore
you just look somewhere up with your dull droopy eyes
without much hope and no longer with any urgency and you don’t look relieved
that the weekend is just around the corner because the weekends after all these years
the weekends are now just part of your 9 to 5 and there is no urgency none at all
because your 9 to 5 well it has turned into your 22 to 62 and nothing will change
because it’s been like this for forty years

and here you are standing next to me
as i am thinking all this standing next to you
returning home from my 9 to 5 and wondering
well what else is there to it?