World on Wheels

Anurima Das

Assistant Professor - Department of English Kalinga University, Raipur

I reach the bus stop, sharp at eight

Fearing all the way that I’m late

The bus comes soon; I fight my way inside,

And dance to the tunes of people shouting “please side”

And suddenly I’m a hawk, and my prey is a seat,

So I keep scavenging for one, in dust and heat.

The bus rolls forward, in serpentine trails

Honking its way through screaming and wails

I look out the window; pass my time my stop

See the school I went to and the house where I grew up.

The conductor shouts for a ticket and pulls me out of my reverie;

He plays many roles here, from a babysitter to a referee.

The fat man sleeping beside me drools on his shoulder;

The young girl going for an interview, mugs up her resume from a folder

Sleepy men stand in aisles; moving like kids on swings

And which every stop they jerk awake and rescue their fallen things.

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