Monday, June 22, 2009

A Lonely Thing

This was written on my bus ride from Nashville, Tennessee's Union Station to the square (actually a triangle) of Newport, Rhode Island, as i embarked on my third class midshipman NROTC cruise after my freshman year at Vanderbilt in June 1963. My parents saw me off at Nashville, and the Navy greeted me in Newport. So the bus depot was neither of these two. i do not recall the city where this bus depot was located, but i suspect it was in Providence, Rhode Island, the only transfer in the many, many stops, the two Trailways buses made on my journey.

A Lonely Thing

the huge room with the high ceiling was virtually empty;
the loud speaker's bark echoed with a hollow ring;
the black night air was forlorn, almost chilly,
the bus's muffled roar was a lonely thing.

the old man with ragged shoes sat down in the wooden seat,
his odor was of the musty, smoke-filled air;
he picked up the butt of the nickel cigar and caressed it,
lit up and stroked his long, near-mangy hair.

the huge archaic clock showed it to be early morning
as the speaker throated huskily once more,
the old man arose, straggled out of the entrance;
alone, he gazed back through the glass-paned door.

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