Riding the Bus, by SC Hicks
Riding the Bus
A middle class wife in her modern clothes holds an empty life. Her husband is dressed proudly in clean overalls, wrench in hand, but doesn’t know how to use it. His taut lips would gag speech, if he had words to speak. The rich man unsure the value of wealth, holds his bag of corruption; unconcerned, unhidden, unshared, like loyalty to wife and son. His wife’s scarf blows as if it is trying to escape factory smokestacks and uninviting streets with footprints and wheel ruts filled with soot and ash. Is she thinking about, or wishing for old ways? The boy yearns for something other than darkness, while his parents ignore him. They are blank stare couples turned away from a darkened dream. No one chooses to notice a poor village woman and her baby. Is the baby’s birth a new beginning or beginning tragedy? Bare feet in a peasant’s dress, the woman’s shawl hides her shame. She has bundled with her the most important things, the contents: what values remain. No one notices, or everyone notices and does nothing.
I feel as if I am watching from across the aisle, circumstances changed, issues remain. In the present, seats wear colours from flickering electric signs and laptop screens. A boy, barely aware of the ride plays games. Lonely adults make calls from cell phones. Countryside fades to city’s days of night. Similar to the past: pollution, disease, and violent death. The effects someone else controls; like ghetto’s poor, closed factory doors. Frida would understand.
After years of writing scientific reports, SC Hicks was introduced to writing poetry through mindful writing workshops as a therapeutic tool. Since then, his poetry and flash fiction has been published in several journals.
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