The Driver

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The bus driver sees people as they really are:

survivors & corpses going for regular treatment,

shadows & lights moving in a tunnel,

loved & loveless reflections in a rear view mirror,

like him, the sufferers of whole-body vibrations

of the potholes & uneven pavements of the road,

the sedentary motion breaking their backs

until everything is saturated in grief, anger & pain.

 

In the swing room among the crack of eight balls

and the other drivers sullenly chewing their lunch

he writes a history of the young father struggling

with a stroller who slips on without paying,

the obituary of the white ghost with the

5 o’clock shadow who boards at the hospital,

all notes for the melodic line for his sax solo

at Johnny’s that night.

 

His fingers touch the imaginary valves

& before the movement is over

the road chants for his return.

He puts on his blue cap,

tucks in his shirt & straighten his pants.

The abuse is almost immediate,

starting before he can sit and close the door.

The engine revs with the  melodies of the city

& in the harsh notes, he hears the smooth variations

that will drive him through the long night ahead & home.