Wisdom on Buses
A madman broke it down for me.
“You’re a late bloomer,” he said,
“The best is yet to come.
You were a troubled child,
A rebel. You liked fine wines
And women’s thighs.
You set yourself apart,
Or were set apart, I don’t know which,
And it made you solitary but also
Fragile and melancholy.
You don’t understand people
But they are attracted to you.
You were a child of winter,
Your daughter’s mother
Was born in March.
Your daughter is like her.
I can see her spirit.
I see the child in you.
You still haven’t arrived.
You’re still waiting to begin your work,
But it is going to happen.
Havana. St. Petersburg. Helsinki. New York.
London. Melbourne. Paris. Lisbon.
Copenhagen. Dublin. San Francisco.
Music, art, dance, teaching, feeding.
You’re a good father. Are you?”
He was a large man, and unclean,
And dwarfed the seat where he sat
And the person who sat beside him.
He grinned from deep within himself
As his satisfied hands rested atop his navel.
I looked at him, slightly stunned, and said,
“This is our stop.”