Wednesday, October 8, 2008



Amid bags of fruit
and coolers filled
with bottled water,
we sat on the bus
waiting for Ted.
We passed the time
in hushed tones
of polite talk and
civil manners, while the hour
to go came and went.
The bus driver shifted
and coughed, as he
ate a donut - wiping
the powdered sugar
off his fingers
onto his clean pants.
An old hippie jumped
off the bus and walked
around studying a map of
an arboretum, as he clicked
his heels and hummed.
The ruddy-faced art
students giggled nervously
in the back of the bus,
eating cold toaster pastries
and reading banned books,
waiting for Ted.
A young woman
fixed her already
perfect make-up
and smiled at herself
in her compact mirror.
Then, just as the
morning sun slanted
through the front
windows of the bus,
Ted showed up with his
big silly face and his fake
radio announcer voice.
Someone flushed the toilet
in the back of the bus,
as Ted bowed and Shakespeared,
“A pleasant morning all.”
I rolled my eyes and sighed
heavily - as I reluctantly
moved my mesh bag of apples -
so that he could sit down beside me.


Anonymous said...

First off, you're such a potent writer. You have a predatory grip on the essense of the moment. Wonderful to experience as a reader.

What strikes me here is how content each person is in their little world. Even the observer. Content with the absence of Ted.

The apples might be moved over, but some part of the speaker wishes Ted understood that the seat was taken.

Hans Ford said...

It makes me feel like I was a participant on this very bus. You have a great way of making readers feel involved. Thanks for the ride.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Jason - What a compliment indeed, coming from such an accomplished writer. Thank you.

As a writer, one hopes to draw in the reader - in a personal way. You really got OUT of the poem what I tried to put IN to the poem. are so right, my friend, the apples would have been the *preferred* seat partner! ;0

Hans Ford - It is important to me that the reader feels "placed" in my poetry and stories. You may now officially say that you were on that bus. ;)

I appreciate your reflective comments and hope you will "ride" with me again.

trooping with crows said...

You really find poetry everywhere! This poem is like a character study, with the character being written about not showing up until the end...Amazing!

Everybody knows someone like Ted.

Sarah Hina said...

I just had the penetrating sense of a panning movie camera, capturing all these disconnected moments and secondary characters, and corralling them under the umbrella of the flashy, main performer: Ted.

I'm distrustful of anyone who Shakespeares, in general, but I love that you turned the Bard into a verb! ;)

Great piece, K. I was there.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Trooping with Crows, I really do find poetry ideas is just in my nature, I guess.

Yes, and what a character! After I wrote this poem, it was published in a poetry anthology in my area. I was asked to do a reading in two galleries. Well, I was so afraid that "Ted" was going to be at one of the events (and he would definitely recognize himself - because the poem was written from an actual experience) that I did do a reading - but wouldn't read this one. But, you know what? Knowing Ted...he would have been flattered that the poem was about him...even though it was a disparaging characterization. I think, for him, it would have been ANY publicity is good publicity! Thanks, TWC ;P

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Sarah Hina - LOL! You don't think William minds, do you? Glad you like the poem. You know, I tend to "see" things in movie format when I am writing. I DO know what you mean by that.

Thanks for the perceptive remarks. ;D

blue possum said...

I really love this poem, K! I like imagining Ted's "fake radio announcer voice".

Sorry I haven't commented in a while...I've been really busy with work, life and whatever else! It doesn't mean that I'm not reading all of your beautiful poems!

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Blue Possum...LOL! I wonder how everyones sees him? You are sweet! Thanks.