The Bus

O Onibus
Time slows for the expectant passenger
Who patiently waits by the road-side
It leaps and bounds for the still-a-bed
Until it cries a rebuke and passes by.

Those who wait hear a distant rumble
That repays their awakening in darkness
And brings children running from their game
To the spot marked for embarkation.

Time slows again, amid a ragged line
For it is still a noise that echoes around
The corner that is empty and still
Waiting for where the door will stop

Then it lurches into view, sinews muddy
From the mountain climb above the clouds
Belly swollen with school-children, sullen
For the long day ahead with books

It makes a ticking sound, then a whoosh
That throws its rubbery mouth wide open
We stare as the instant grinds to a halt
And the lucky first one climbs aboard

To find that empty seat deep inside
Where you squeeze and wriggle
Offering smiles and good mornings
To those who stand stubbornly in front

Then he bounds forward with a growl
And leaps on over rutted mud holes
Slippery with last night’s rain, until
Another line in wait, slows time again

Over and over hills and hollows
Never tiring, never complaining
Like the mule that went before him
He endures all until the final moment

Until time decides, amid our haste
To end his journey broken inside.
We tumble out of him and stare
At his hissing body lying there.

Then as time marches on again
We stride on along the road.
For he will come again tomorrow
Have faith in Him, and you will see.


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