The Bus Ride by richard lynn livesay

This bus of shame drives on, over

 Broken bridges of misunderstanding,

Cracked foundations and bumpy roads…

I peer out the window and  

There, trying to survive in a lesser world

Are the “Children of a lesser god”


I see the chicken boned children

 in garbage dumps starving for food and attention

but we drive by in poverty

the poverty of noninvolvement


someone says, “How sad, someone should do something”

then turned away, slightly guilty

but with the unconscious image of the

 children of the garbage

hidden away from “normal” lives


The bus ads want me to buy suntan lotion

Drink tequila on sunny beaches and

enjoy my lucky heritage


I sink uncomfortably into my

seat of electro-introspection,

Thinking of oily bank accounts

and Saudi harems, Mercedes and mansions

I try in vain to re-write a poem.

Soon, we stop for coffee in the city of critics.

Hoping to get my brain unmuddled, I sip coffee

Maybe I can infuse a new delusion (grand or false)

I head for the bathroom

They were short on toilet paper

So I left them one of my manuscripts,


I adjust my leg irons and re-boarded the bus,

“When does this tour end?” I ask.

“There is no end” said the red faced driver.

I was perplexed.

I continued looking at the broken down towns,

Gagging in smelly urinals

And forcing down “famous” cow burgers

and oily fries.

Peering out, I

saw an unshaven soldier with one leg

drinking wine in an alley, a disillusioned vet;

but one of the chicken boned children

was offering him a piece of moldy bread


Uncomfortably a tear rolled from my eye

As I dozed, I thought about this species called


We kill;

We hate,

We fight and injure,

Lie, cheat and steal

And then hypocritically judge others

Then gripe about the things we don’t have


The image of the chicken-boned child

feeding the broken vet,

caused me to shake.

The bus stopped

I was blindfolded and taken out in a field

I screamed,”I was only telling the truth!”

I felt the first bullet pierce my skull

And it all became like a dream


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