Up county, here in Mount Kisco, the men

from across the tracks wait patiently

at the station every weekday morning,

not for a train, but a day job, seated

on the edge of the sidewalk or against

the fence, near where cars enter to drop off

or pick up, all expectantly catching

the gazes of incoming drivers,

signaling silently, Whatever it is

you have to do, I can do it for you.

By noon, many head home to emptiness,

their wives away to serve as maids for

the more well-to-do. I wait for the train

from the Bronx that brings my housekeeper.


Jim Tilley has published three full-length collections of poetry and a novel with Red Hen Press. His short memoir, The Elegant Solution, was published as a Ploughshares Solo. His poem, “On the Art of Patience,” was selected by Billy Collins to win Sycamore Review’s Wabash Prize for Poetry. Four of his poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His next poetry collection, Ripples in the Fabric of the Universe: New & Selected Poems, will be published in June 2024.


Jim Tilley

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