by Carol H. Leckner


riding in the updown bus
mountain drive up down
childhood of afterschool hebrew classes
fairmount street and lollypop snacks
up down northmount high
the long hallways made of stone
pictures hanging
of all the graduates
dead and alive

up down the bus route
banking years
saving everything
going nowhere
meeting no one
but enough to attend UNIVERSITY
up down the college chords
grades down to C
never up to A
I got by other ways

up down over the mountain
past the cemetery
dash turn hold on
come into sherbrooke street
and the old gray building
up down the escalators
library on the top floor
for nose-picking
and hope you remember something
after the exam

up and down the job circuit
inner voice of parental push
leads to good placement
but mine takes me out
of mainstream life
I hear the wail
up and down my mind
my inner movements
the voices loud
and murmuring
egging me up and down
the hamster cage
and I go round
HEY who lives in this body anyway


one day the bus went around the mountain
and I parachuted out
finding myself
in a new land of study
to radiate my inner being
I tripped and limped
until the sprain healed itself
heard the voice I knew
un dry
and replace itse
with musical tones
of grace and harmony
saw my fallen hair
and my aura
fill my limbs
my mind my heart my soul
with a song and craving for GOD
the past became a set of foreign memories
my scrapbook
photos of possible
errors and omissions
the music of my soul's light flooded me
I ride the route
necessary for my life
when the bus went around the mountain
positions rewards and graduation rites
neither obstacles
nor objects of desire for me
the bus went around the mountain
and I got off

Last updated January 17, 2023