Saturday, June 2, 2007

Hold the bus!

Last night at my book club, the subject of public transportation came up. Just for the fun it, here is a poem that I wrote last summer about public transportation—two kinds:

The Morning After You Stopped by for Dinner

for B.

Stuck inside a bus broken down
on the highway shoulder, I think of you
in Houston, or en route,
your long day of going from Tokyo,
and then the day over again
and a red-eye—not yours—
to the twin cities, so close to home.

But first you are booked to Texas, must go
alone to the Lone Star state
while the man you love flies on to Wisconsin,
makes coffee, feeds the chickens.

You are in a plastic chair
bolted by the windows,
vistas of concrete,
or sandwiched in the air,
where sunrise leaks through portholes

as passing trucks rock the coach I’m on.
That man over there
with a traveling voice is talking,
talking, and maybe today Christopher
has abandoned all voyagers
in favor of breakfast, maybe
a blessed bowl of raisin bran—

but now the tow truck
is backing up. We switch buses,
ease onto the road.

Somewhere near water,
the planes are rising,
trailing vapor across the sky.

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