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Thursday, August 25, 2022


by Chad Parenteau

Now comes the latest upheaval for the [Boston’s] weary commuters: a complete 30-day shutdown of the Orange Line, the area’s second most-traveled subway line, which typically provides 101,000 passenger trips a day from Boston’s southwest neighborhoods through its downtown core and into Somerville, Medford and Malden, three cities to the north. Transit officials announced the shutdown after a series of safety problems on the T, as the region’s transit system is known, including an Orange Line train that caught fire in July while on a bridge, prompting one rider to jump into the Mystic River below. —The New York Times, August 23, 2022

First of trainless
thirty days, possibly
preluding forever.
Slower busses
bound for Mattapan
might have chance
to shine, if not for
oversized shuttles
to Copley Square
pushing commerce
first, blocking last
gasps of commute.
Newspaper calls it
“Orange Crush’
because if officials
could tighten belts,
poke extra holes,
make new notches,
stretch bodies further
from city’s center,
they already would.
Forrest Hills remains
quiet as crematorium,
ashen holdovers already
gone from benches.
Nobody wants to be
left further behind.

Chad Parenteau hosts Boston's long-running Stone Soup Poetry series. His latest collection is The Collapsed Bookshelf. His poetry has appeared in journals such as Résonancee, Molecule, Ibbetson Street, Cape Cod Poetry Review, Tell-Tale Inklings, Off The Coast, The Skinny Poetry JournalNixes Mate Review, and the anthology Reimagine America from Vagabond Books. He serves as Associate Editor of the online journal Oddball Magazine.