“ORANGE”

This woman on the city bus
peels oranges,
as a gift from heaven
to the other passengers.
This woman wearing purple
and polka dots,
pulling white fuzz from flesh;
She does not eat the fruits of her labor, here.
Each new, naked ball goes swiftly inside
a fresh, plastic baggie;
Blue and yellow, slide together.
ZIP!
The skin, the peel, and the navel
pile a mass on her lap,
molting citrus into the air;
Disguising the man fixed to his wheelchair
as someone who does not endure a lifetime
of wearing adult diapers.
As someone who did not lose their struggle
when the rear-left tire struck the Mercer pothole
two blocks back.
This woman on the city bus peels oranges.
Everyone who boards
is happy to see her, even if the pack of commuters
is too thick
to see through them—
TO HER;
They know she is there, because sooner than they feed their dollars
or swipe their pass,
they are on the city bus, smelling of citrus.
This woman is the most pleasant; The most astounding revelation
they will receive all day.
The passengers ride home together,
to take their separate stops;
Sad to leave the city bus—
because outside, the city does not smell of oranges.
Outside, there are only sulking brown banana peels,
wet leaves, puddles, and crosswalks glowing orange.

narrative poem written on 10-30-2010 by: on mattkane.com
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