“THE BUS RIDE TONIGHT”

The bus ride tonight
like a fragrant pot of lentil soup,
served in steaming sweat socks—
worn ankle deep by a chimpanzee,
who can’t sit in a seat
more than two minutes
without grabbing
for a sparkly monkey bar and
swinging to another seat;
The seat beside me.
And I turn my head,
look at him.
There’s something wrong
with this one.
Nobody picks the fleas
from the back of his neck.
Suddenly, he reaches his hairy arm
across my face, yanking on the pull cord.
I gag and a bell rings!
He jerks it again, laughing.
A bell rings!
This time, tugging at it— and
a bell rings! The bus stops.
He heaves himself up,
running down the narrow aisle—
bow-legged and maniacal.
Mothers shield their children.
Men in suits secure their bags
and tuck their knees in close.
BOBO, at the front now— grunts
something joyful to the driver;
Leaps off, bounds back in, and
dives backside first
through the closing doors—
cart wheeling onto the pavement.
The bus pulls away
and the show stops for me
at the next stop, as I hustle off—
paying the faire and taking my transfer.

The bus ride tonight, like a zoo.
Worth the price of admission;
Only not as entertaining
on that side of the cage.

narrative poem written on 11-11-2011 by: on mattkane.com
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