There was a woman on the train
who swatted out at me
like an angry sibling,
scolding me for my largeness,
as I relaxed in the space around me.
Why did I sprawl in the available space,
my shoulder bag beside me,
my elbow jutting over the seat behind me,
when I could have shrunken myself,
as it might behoove us,
the civilized subway riders of the city,
Why did I not shrink at her reproach,
shamed at my transgression
of the rule she lived by?
Is it my sense of freedom,
my feeling of belonging,
that I also share the right to be here,
that, if I respect the needs of others,
I can include my own needs and comfort
Is there not room for all of us,
when we jettison our judgements,
release the myth of competition,
and share the world we built around us
as the gift it is?