Poetry 2

The School Bus

Frosty morning, me

Sheila, Eileen, Gail walk

crocodile line to the stop. Pink

satchel, knitted mittens on a string

round my neck, Start-rite

shoes in  different sizes.

Walk in step, walk in line.

Mothers muttering behind,

one leg shorter,

Polio, you know…

Icicles like witch’s nipples

point from on high.

Waiting, I chew a black

Gob Stopper.


Sultry afternoon, pumps on my feet, Sheila, Eileen, Gail

waiting for the bus accelerating away and so do I, so do I,

running, loping, one leg shorter, as the bus chugs and turns I fly

short cuts down Swine Lane, across the fields surprising the sheep,

fleeter by the Leeds and Liverpool, surprising the geese,

fearless, past the tumbled cottage which might be haunted,

faster over the humpback bridge. Breathless, I reach the stop

beating the bus, before Sheila, Eileen, Gail.

I walk home alone, the Polio Kid,

spangled and fizzing up a Sherbet fountain.



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