A Ride on the Muni

—Pushpa MacFarlane

There’s a whole city I haven’t seen—
not even a quarter of it—just occasional visits
to singular places in a crowd, always rushing
to catch a bus—or ask about one, bending down,
peering across heads to look out for the right stop—
no, not this, perhaps the next—no, still further.
Never taking a breath long enough to enjoy
the multitude inside—like the little Asian woman
with her crooked smile, closing her blanched almond eyes
in quick succession. The young boy—perhaps sixteen?
Wears more jewelry in one ear than all the ladies
put together in this bus. The old toothless codger
nods his head  rhythmically in staccato, agreeing
ah-huh, alright! There’s no one seated next to him
—yet.    I won’t know if there will, since I’ll be
getting off at my stop—right after this one.

One thought on “A Ride on the Muni

  1. Great poem, Pushpa! What an epiphany when we realize that everyone has a story of his or her own! Didn’t Whitman write that everyone of us is a universe of our? It’s funny how we like to study strangers, whether on the bus or at the supermarket, but really, how much of another person’s story can we ever know?

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