Sunday, October 27, 2013


It is an hour and a half past lunch
when I realize that I didn't steal food.

It isn't the unplundered buffet table
that draws tears near,
nor the empty pockets in my backpack
that could easily have harbored bread
and those little packets of mayonnaise
that would have hardly taken up any space at all,
that would have been easy for kind others
to pretend they didn't see.

It is the hour and a half, the unscrutinized assumption
that there will always be more food,
that opportunities can be ignored,
that pockets can be empty for no better reason
than a lack of attention and a busy schedule.

It is the ninety minutes I spent ignorant
of everything I've ever learned the hard way.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mind your Bus-ness, Part II

More bus letters. I wish these were fake.

Dear Bus Driver,

That stop sign jumped out from nowhere, did it? Tricksey, those stop signs.

Could you hand me my stomach? I think it's on the floor under the fare box.

Dear Incessantly Whistling Guy on the Bus,

I'm glad you're happy.

I'm glad that taking the 7 a.m. to Milton, with its chronic overcrowding and its unusual odor this morning that I'm trying not to examine too closely, makes you happy. I'm glad that crowding elbow-to-elbow with strangers on a bus that navigates Route 60 like a raft on rapids fills you with cheer.

You know what fills ME with cheer?

Peace and quiet on the freakin' SEVEN A.M. TO MILTON.

Dear Bus Driver,

You are now the hero not only of myself, but of the ten horses you rescued from a late breakfast. Thank you for recognizing the distant bobbing of a 32-ounce John Deere coffee mug in your rearview mirror as what it was: a cry for help. Less heroic drivers have told me that stopping in the middle of the block is forbidden, so I appreciate you making the exception. And I appreciate that when I arrived on your bus, gasping for breath, hair askew, holding my too-loose jeans up with the hand not already gripping, essentially, a full-sized coffee pot, you only smiled mildly and waved off my thanks.

I know you've seen worse. I've written many of them letters.

Still, I'm sorry you had to see that.

Dear Transit Authority,

Sending one of your smaller buses on the Number 2 route between the hours of 8 and 3 on a rainy weekday is like setting up a game of Tetris, if Tetris pieces had sharp elbows and carried wet umbrellas, and if, when a line filled up, instead of disappearing, it just sat there, squirming and glaring, smelling of value brand deodorant and cigarette smoke.

Please send a larger game board.


Dear Guy on the Bus,

You are pretty sure you look tough, watching us from under your beanie, silently mouthing along with whatever badass music is playing on that iPod.

Dude. We can hear your music. We know it's Pink.

I love you,