On one of my bus trips to New York for events at Teachers College, I had a simple experience. It might not be worth mentioning, but it was at a time when I felt pretty alone in the world.  A stranger, who was totally unaware of the moment, reminded me of the ways just human contact helps. I attempted to get my words to match the feeling and know that they are not yet quite adequate, but here goes:

Bus Ride

We boarded the bus one-by-one

To be ferried to the city.

The seat next to me was empty.

Secretly, I hoped it would stay that way.

At the last minute

a young man boarded

and with ease of youth sat down by me.

He unpacked iPod, portable DVD, magazine, and journal.

We sat then, two-by-two–

as though mates, but not.

In the modern way,

I suppressed my questions,

dutifully avoided eye contact, and

carefully kept to my space.


when he slept,

his foot touched mine.

I felt warmth through my shoe

and did not stir.




5 thoughts on “March 19, 2017

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