It’s not as if I don’t know buses

Because there have been times when I’ve been a regular rider

Knowing the schedule by heart

Routes and numbers familiar as TV channels

I developed nodding friendships with other inmates of the rolling asylum

Locked into patterns of time and transport

I learned to hate drivers who kept the heat cranked up

Well into winter so they could wear shorts and short sleeved shirts

While the rest of us sweltered in our layers having to contend

With the reality of cold precipitation outside

I don’t miss the rush hour memories

Like the time we were crammed standing closer than riot police

I noticed my foot was wet

And saw that the woman beside me had a leaking bag of fish

Anointing me with a fragrance that persisted for weeks

Or the time two boys were sniffing glue from ziplock bags

In the seat behind me and while they seemed happy with the buzz

I just caught a contact headache, left at the next stop and walked

I remember the autistic lad who knew all the makes and models

Unfortunately there were some buses he really couldn’t abide

His distress was palpable when the wrong one came along

Those rides made us all moan and groan

Even if he was the only one to verbalize his feelings

I don’t miss those moments when the bus is early on its route

And you are half a block away unable to sprint to the stop in time

Or fumble in vain for the correct change

But for all that pain and all this whining

Buses have been there for me

Taking me safely from point to point

Providing space to make neighbours into friends

And if it’s not as magical as teleportation

Buses are just as moving in reality



David Trudel   © 2013




Filed under Poetry

2 responses to “Buses

  1. Beautiful images in this poem. In particular, the “riot police” simile is GREAT. You have beautiful rhythm and word choice 🙂 Really enjoyed it!

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