by Catherine Fischbach
The bus engine roar wakes the soundly sleeping world,
Air is ripped from its throat asthmatically as brakes bring the giant to a halt,
Then, it wheezes up the hill, barely catching its breath,
Oh, how it labors, like the decrepit being that it is,
Up the hill, barely panting with each succeeding exhalation!
Amazing how many toy cars
Regularly dare to risk being crushed by it,
Without a second thought!
They think that the monster really poses no threat to them,
So they nonchalantly
Continue to slice
Their way through traffic,
Blissfully unaware that the pulse of the bus operator has just doubled, in that half an instant!
Those who had not been jolted out of half-sleep by the near collision,
Alarmed into sight by a "beep,"
A loud voice as of God, comes out of the sky above,
"Stop requested!" it booms!
Shortly, and obediently, the engine roar decreases
The huge doors groan open,
High heels staccato and sneakers shuffle and thud on and off its stairs,
Like a responding, irregular drum beat.
The bus sighs resignedly
As its doors once again strain to click back together.
Voices within its echoing chamber
Now are getting louder and more cheerful by the minute.
The bus shudders in disgust,
Knowing that five people who have not showered in a week
Seek refuge within its shelter,
Leaving the wreak
Of their perfume, a gift for generations to come!
Soon, as the doors open and close ceaselessly,
A discordant cacophony of different types of blaring, distorted music earphones fill its interior,
Voices, too, fluctuate in and out of hearing range,
Blending with the music and tuneful melody of the
Singing happily to itself,
Oh, with the whole sounding not unlike a Charles Ives orchestral piece!
The old workhorse of a bus doesn't seem to mind too much.
Perhaps, the unearthly choir distracts it from the aches and pains and rattles of its existence,
And the toy cars who constantly try to block its way;
It just wheezes on,
Hungrily anticipating the next coin or dollar dropped
Down its vault!
It seems to have an endless, Unsatisfiable appetite.
The bus, filled with painful noise and occasionally jerky fits,
Far past dusk.