4 Dec 2012

My Busconductor – Roger McGough

[1937–current, English]

       My busconductor tells me
he only has one kidney
and that may soon go on strike
through overwork.
Each busticket
takes on now a different shape and texture.
He holds a ninepenny single
as if it were a rose
and puts the shilling in his bag
as a child into a gasmeter.
His thin lips have no quips for fat factorygirls
and he ignores
the drunk who snores
and the oldman who talks to himself
and gets off at the wrong stop.
       He goes gently to the bedroom of the bus
to collect
and what familiar shops and pubs pass by
(perhaps for the last time?).
The same old streets look different now
more distinct as through new glasses.
And the sky
was it ever so blue?

       And all the time
deepdown in the deserted busshelter of his mind
he thinks about his journey nearly done.
One day he’ll clock on and never clock off
or clock off and never clock on.

Source: Goodwin, D 2002, 101 Poems That Could Save Your Life: An Anthology of Emotional First Aid, Harper.

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