by Karen Schwartz
In musical chair fashion they sit patiently in wait
all bench seats full of strangers, each well on their way
eyes fixed, mouths clenched, no one is speaking,
they stare into the abyss; today's adventure on their mind.
They have nothing in common, or so it would seem.
While waiting for the bus, five focused adults wonder
how the downtown soup kitchen functions
and how their contribution will brighten the day.
The basket she carries holds the potatoes from her garden
each nutritional tuber hand-picked for size and appeal.
The man carries the tool to fix the broken range,
you can't boil a stew without fire or heat.
The nursing mother brings her son to learn the lesson of giving,
offering up their time to serve and converse,
The man next to her holds the silver dollars hoped to bring change
it's not much but these collectors' dream may be bartered for fare.
A lady sits in the last seat, unassuming, unconnected,
well-dressed, prim and proper seemingly blessed,
little do they know, she is going where they are going
cancer treatment has left her broke, a secret she hides well.
Five strangers, one child, one infant, one story,
all interconnected through need and big hearts,
the bus is the vehicle that will bring them together,
transporting them toward a mission of kinship and love.
After "The Bus" by Frida Kahlo 1929