Catching the Bus
19 October 2005
When I'm waiting in the winter
cold corner for the bus, watching
the white mist breath of the old man
on the bench, clutching his satchel
with the initials J.C. etched
in the leather on the front flap,
stained from oils and other liquids
in its journey to this time and place,
I am frozen in awe at life:
there's just something about waiting
under lamplight at night for the bus
that is not like anything else.
A whiff of danger lingers in the air
with the gas fumes and the street noises,
the honking horns and the sirens,
and the visual stimuli,
the headlights coming and going,
and the broken glass on the ground.
There is no choreography
to this dance of matter and energy,
this condensation of meaning,
this calculated randomness.
The bus brakes screech, the driver frowns,
and the doors swing open. I stop
and let the old man climb slowly
up the metal stairs and into a seat
near the exit, watching the rest of us.
The door is yanked closed.
The bus rolls forward.
I smile as the bench moves away,
the black street rushes towards us,
and the blue lights of a police car
create special effects on my window.
© 2005, Satya J. Gabriel