On the Bus with Dad

So, we sway,
oddly, this uncomfortable day,
finding our rhythm at last:
an uneasy one, jostled by cobbles
on our journey to forgetting.

Upstairs front,
shoogling the past’s prow,
this way, that,
me holding you,
me not letting go;
the bus shoves us

You encased next to me, my daydreams swim in a
childhood’s wake, where, happy on shoulders
your hands manacle my ankles, making it
Now again. And no yearning for youth
or past is this, but a rueing of
understanding’s ebb;
(Did the silence set
before the
of football

Our mechanics had ground to a halt long before I
ascended to teenage inarticulacy. (Can you hear the
bus purr when it rests?)
Getting off at the old stop
and following a quarter century of scuffed
heels, dragging me into your history I turn
detective, rediscovering us when new.
Before faults opened and
closed our possibilities.

I scramble the fence posts down to the
Clyde-side. Down to the river’s edge.
Force an imagining of you
as a boy with faceless
friends, swimming.
And let you fly.

You rain down, a
drizzle of dust
sprinkling the
brown water,
to silt.


No moving forward or going back.
I rescrew the urn’s lid waiting for
an impossible word. And know,
with you swimming, there’s no last bus home.


2 thoughts on “On the Bus with Dad

  1. This is so accomplished, I can’t get over it.
    Every word, every syllable in the right place.
    Perfect, even before one begins to unwrap the sad occasion.

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