by Dorianne Laux

It's time for me to walk to the bus stop
and sit down among them, the man
tied into his wheelchair, the woman
with the humped back, time for me
to kneel and hold his cup while he adjusts
his books and his pack, look up at her
ffowered blouse, his scratched glasses.
There's a sky full of rain that won't
come down, pigeons asieep on the lawn,
and across the street pumpkins piled high
in front of the market, Xeroxed flyers
stapled to the telephone pole. To the east
a day moon above the bridge, cars
filing under like a school of fish,
and ifI look down at my feet I won't
knock over the plastic dish the blind man
has filled to the brim for his dog. It's time
to go to work, to wait while they gather
their belongings, while the metal mesh
platform unhinges and bangs down,
time to nod to the driver as he pulls
back on the lever and a man lifts
into the air, to cup her elbow, a thin wing
sharpened by suffering, to enter
the threshold and stand among them,
listen to their murmurs, the news
of the day, to slip my hand through
the frayed canvas noose and hold on.

Last updated March 04, 2023