I originally wrote this freeverse-style poem on August 6, 2002.
Updated commentary to follow...
The Bus Ride
In the seat to my right sits a couple
The other listens to music
And from the expressions on their faces
It's obvious there's love between the two
In front of me, a couple speak softly to each other
then fall silent
A longing look they share reveals
there's love between the two
Up further on my right, a pretty woman
with a ring on her finger
talks to a phone
“I’ll be home soon,” she says. “I miss you.”
“I love you.”
The seat beside me is empty
There’s nothing in my hands
No ring on my finger
Nothing else for me to do but look out the window
I close my eyes
and say a prayer
that someday I’ll have someone to go home to
someone who misses me, who can’t wait to see me again
someone to call on the phone and say, “I love you.”
that someday I’ll have a ring on my finger
that someday there will be someone
sitting with me
on the bus
Now, I'm sure there are people out there who eat this sort of stuff up. If you liked this, thanks. But there are a lot of writers out there who don't like to reflect on something they wrote in the past. It might make you wonder why you wrote it in the first place, and why you were foolish enough to publish it so others could read it too.
In hindsight, I still like it and think it's a nice piece even if it does sound a little like a greeting card. And I don't think I'd change anything about it...except the setting.
Today, I wouldn't subject anyone I love to the experience of riding a bus with me. Buses have a well-known reputation for being unpleasant, exasperating, claustrophobic, and filled with people who haven't bathed since Jimmy Carter was president.
The prayer expressed at the end of the poem was indeed fulfilled. I do have someone to go home to now, and I'm very grateful to God for answering that prayer. But you won't find us riding a bus together. Not no way. Not no how.
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