Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Past the terminus

He'd come home late at night,
bleary-eyed and crumpled,
saying he'd ridden past the terminus.

My mother would snort
he didn't know where to get off with his lying,
but I believed him because

I watched them most schoolday afternoons,
working men, nodding-off behind newspapers
as they swayed with the motion of the bus.

As we approached journey's end
everyone, apart from them,
would get up and get off.

Behind glass they slept on,
lost to the hydraulic hiss of the closing door.
The journey beginning for them once more.

I get it from him,
this tendency to make unnecessary journeys,
of staying too long - to the point of pointlessness,

the art of missing the alighting point,
riding beyond the terminus.

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