On The Bus

The mutant panhandler got on the bus and shuffled over to me
Sputtered through his broken teeth, “Actually made it to fifty.”
His baby stroller overhanging in the aisle it spilled upon the floor
“It’ll be a good day,” he eked out, as he rolled his life to the door.

And the aged indifferent zombied old man crawled upon the stage
Three days beard and rubber-tipped cane dying light spurred no rage
Eerily greeted me with deadpan eyes, needed help to reach his seat
Staring out as if he were blind, getting home’s his gold medal feat.

So Beulah and her baby snuck in on the back, pushed aside the others
Showing her daughter it’s okay to cheat, an embarrassment to mothers
Then dared lecture the kid on morality until I was about to puke
In my younger days opened my mouth full of indignance and rebuke.

Countless Spanish ladies making their way to work as somebody’s maid
Each with their own brand of accounting the petty wages they are paid
And make-believe students by the score shuttle on and off with books
Starving and slaving, paying their dues, amidst the old peoples’ looks.

In jumps Skateboard Dan with tats and chain, sneers as he finds a seat
Too immature to think of others in his Halloween costume complete
Oblivious to us, he plugs in his music, some savage punk rock sound
Holes in his jeans, holes in his soul, his arrogance without bound.

Now move aside for the wheelchair vet, deserves front row seats at the show
All I can manage is an inadequate sad smile instead of the reward we forego
He’s strapped in tight so his wheels won’t roll, couldn’t escape if he had to
A microcosm of his sacrificed existence some shrapnel brought home true.

Next in line is the fair-haired beachy dude, sandals and clothes don’t match
Skipped out of work, said he was sick, a contrivance he’s practiced to hatch
Pretends he receives a telephone call, and loudly tells everyone his plans
This very average self-important surfer slug runs with the also-rans.

The driver sits placid amidst it all, hundreds of times seen it all before
The interest of the novelty wore off long ago, just opening and closing the door.
Taking the change, giving directions, all in a deserved days pay
Numb to the entertaining zoo around them, uneventfulness is the way.

So I sit quietly minding my business, formulate thoughts in my head
Polite when I need to, careful the same, fantasize my dreams intrepid
Absorbing the scenes a retroactive playwright, tell stories, recall the day
Requesting my stop, it’s right up ahead, glad to be on my way.

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