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The rain trickles down
the window pane on the bus to Gowran.

Muffled death notices crackle across the

Conversations fade in and out of earshot:

“The weather’s brutal isn’t it?”

“Ah sure, spring’s around the corner,
looking forward to the stretch in the evenings.”

The journey is only half an hour.
It feels like a lifetime.

I just want to get home.

“That Community Alert is useless, did you hear?
Ms. Kiely was robbed, the feckers took

“Community Alert? Sure, ‘tis only Billy staring out
his window.”

At the first stop, an old man gets up from his
The Racing Post under one arm, umbrella in the other.

A voice echoes towards him, from the seat
beside his:

“maybe you’ll get lucky tomorrow Jim!”

He nods and exits the bus, tipping his hat at the
Condensation gathers and drips on the inside of
the window.
The a/c is permanently stuck on high, circulating
the same old air.

“She was so pissed,

did you see her falling about the place?”

Teenage girls sat two seats behind me.

“Yeah, such a lightweight.. like, who gets drunk
after a naggin?”

The bus pulls in and the hoard disembarks.

The Gowran Bus is all but an empty shell,
bar the odd mother and child,
and old woman that doesn’t understand the
etiquette of speaker phone.

“Jaysus, that’s loud now.”

“Pat, can ya hear me, Pat?”
Yes, Anne, he can, him and the rest of the bus.

The bus pulls in at my stop,
I slide to the outside seat and rise to my feet,
one earphone out so I’m not yelling,

I thank the bus driver and hop down the steps
into the cold, wind-driven rain, and begin the dull
walk home.

Author's Note
It was a poem I started writing a few months ago but I suffered writers’
block. Isolation had me remembering the bus journeys and missing them
because of the people you meet on the bus – there’s always poetry
inspiration to be found on that bus journey.
Editor's Note
This is a lovely descriptive piece about something we all took for granted up until quite recently. With her use of little, seemingly insignificant details, the poet paints a very evocative picture of a small community – all the intrigue, gossip, good wishes, and intimate knowledge that evolves when a group of people know each other very well over time. I’m really impressed with how REAL this picture is – there’s no sense of forcing these characters into life, they almost rise from the page to interact with the reader. Time is slow and leisurely, as it has to be when you’re at the mercy of a bus journey, and this too feels so real and immediate. I’ve really enjoyed reading this!