Couplets Looking Both Ways

A souvenir, you said: passing me 
             the stub of a parking ticket we 

didn't have to stick into the exit 
             machine. How often does it 

actually happen like this? — Free passage
            back into the life we try to manage

with all its awful messes and missed
            connections, its swing shifts

making us look both forward and back
            in order not to get smacked

by an eighteen-wheeler plowing down
            the road. These days I look around, 

more easily bewildered: how sorrow is profound
            though sweetness persists, even abounds.

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