March 19, 2017

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 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bhamteach
    Mar 19, 2017 @ 20:25:54

    You lead me to an unexpected place. We all need to feel connected to someone…anyone…when we are at our loneliest.


  2. Emily Culbertson
    Mar 19, 2017 @ 20:42:20

    Isn’t it something? I loved the pacing here. I can’t help but talk to people, at least a little. Of course, that’s how a man on the subway knew I was a tourist. 🙂


  3. Diane Anderson (newtreemom)
    Mar 19, 2017 @ 20:45:16

    When we write, we wonder if we have really said what we wanted to, we wonder if our words are adequate. I think the end of your poem did show us your feelings. Not adequately… eloquently.


  4. wonderingandwondering
    Mar 20, 2017 @ 18:22:14

    So lovely. Magic moments come at the most unusual times, don’t they?


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