Public Transit Poetry Take Two

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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

  1. Cherry-red maple trees against the gray October dusk.
  2. An old man drops his pill bottle. People help.
  3. Taillights ahead are swallowed in fog. Everyone is quiet.
  4. A man, reading, hides the cover of his book.
  5. The woman next to me checks her knitting pattern.
  6. A little girl clutches her fare in her fist.
  7. Here’s that very old lady who flaps her elbows.
  8. This driver makes lots of sudden stops. I’m nauseous.
  9. Wedgwood blue sky. I’ve never seen so many crows.
  10. "No, I’m still on the bus. Call you later.”
  11. “That was the problem – I was completely in love.”
  12. Someone on this bus is chewing watermelon-flavored gum.
  13. A young man runs into a friend. He smiles.
  14. Someone sprints toward the bus stop. The driver waits.
  15. A girl asks her cousin for a loan - $10.
  16. The weather outside is frightful. Glad I’m not driving.
  17. Passengers bubble over with chat and laughter this morning.
  18. “Someone’s coming,” people shout to the driver. “Someone’s running.”
  19. They beg a free ride. They start making out.
  20. 20 below outside. Not too many people riding today.
  21. He says his name is Miracle. He improvises loudly.
  22. Full bus – and she gives her bag a seat.
  23. Two deaf women sign to each other emphatically.
  24. Giggling teens in hijab bounce up the bus stairs.
  25. “I don’t deserve to be somebody’s side chick.”
  26. “That’s how I got from seminary to product management.”
  27. 5:30. I get off the bus. Still light out.