Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Bus Shelter" by Catherine A.G. Bayly

Between the heavy curtain of sun and my hand for shade,
I could barely see the bus stop. 
I knew the path well enough, where the sidewalk was smooth—
and where I might deign to lift my teen girl saddle shoes, 
Remnants of times of fewer lessons.
Today I’d fallen through enough cracks to know
the perils of bottle caps and half-digested chewing gum.
Over them, I picked, then back to shuffling—
Beside a nurse in scrubs, purple long having given way to gray.
And a secretary—lamenting having lost her walking shoes.
Our hips touch as we scramble toward waiting in the glass box.
The sun is lower now, quicker to slice and stab.
It is gentler in this box of filing nails and trading newspapers.
My eyes close and my lungs, sighing, settle.
And suddenly seats are empty and standing room spreads to space for dancing.
But my bones will not get to stretching—the sun will come.
It will leap fast and hard into the cool  darkness.
It, too, will shock the dance right out of me.
I will cover my face with the nearest bit of bad news
and keep it covered as I join ranks behind the shelter.

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