This sonnet was borne by the silence of an early afternoon Metra ride out of Chicago. I think it was inspired by some “explosive laughter” on a conference call from earlier in the day.
There aren’t so many things I cannot stand,
But of the ones I cannot stand at all
Are: handshakes feeling like they’ll break my hand,
Explosive laughter on a conference call,
Responses to thank you that thank you back,
Gum plastered on the underside of benches,
Recurrent breaks in chatter for a snack,
And toilets left unflushed, emitting stenches.
All these I find disturbing, it is true,
But one thing I can’t stand with loathing deep
Is being woken from a slumber through
The asking of the question, You asleep?
My tolerance for whiners, though, is high;
They do not bother me. I wonder why.