Back in September (2013) I posted a short poem by Spike Milligan about swans willing to get wet rather than pay their bus fare. Today I feature a guest blog from my playwright friend, Anne Bertram, who regularly commutes to work by bus in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In honour of the bus route (#9), each line has nine words. I find it captures what I enjoy about riding the bus: each time the experience is different, and often there is plenty of free entertainment to help pass the time!
27 Rides on the #9
- Cherry-red maple trees against the gray October dusk.
- An old man drops his pill bottle. People help.
- Taillights ahead are swallowed in fog. Everyone is quiet.
- A man, reading, hides the cover of his book.
- The woman next to me checks her knitting pattern.
- A little girl clutches her fare in her fist.
- Here’s that very old lady who flaps her elbows.
- This driver makes lots of sudden stops. I’m nauseous.
- Wedgwood blue sky. I’ve never seen so many crows.
- "No, I’m still on the bus. Call you later.”
- “That was the problem – I was completely in love.”
- Someone on this bus is chewing watermelon-flavored gum.
- A young man runs into a friend. He smiles.
- Someone sprints toward the bus stop. The driver waits.
- A girl asks her cousin for a loan - $10.
- The weather outside is frightful. Glad I’m not driving.
- Passengers bubble over with chat and laughter this morning.
- “Someone’s coming,” people shout to the driver. “Someone’s running.”
- They beg a free ride. They start making out.
- 20 below outside. Not too many people riding today.
- He says his name is Miracle. He improvises loudly.
- Full bus – and she gives her bag a seat.
- Two deaf women sign to each other emphatically.
- Giggling teens in hijab bounce up the bus stairs.
- “I don’t deserve to be somebody’s side chick.”
- “That’s how I got from seminary to product management.”
- 5:30. I get off the bus. Still light out.