Friday, December 23, 2016

"I’m on the bus with two of my children" by John Reinhart, Frequent Contributor

I’m on the bus with two of my children

commuting to school in December, before it’s light,
commuting not because we have to 
but  because there is another way

I think of Dickens and the line from Tiny Tim,
the line my father read to us every Christmas,
how he hoped the people in church noticed him
and remembered he who made the blind see,

and I hope people notice my children
and I hope my children notice everyone

tide going out, going in, going to work, going – 
so we can all remember what it’s like – 
seeing the sun rise out of the window
above the frost, the sound of snowpants
the warmth of purpose

and I hope that in the light we can begin to see 
how we all make room for the old man in the wheelchair 
who needs those seats, the teenagers whose parents are gone to work
so they ride the bus, the woman who biked to the station,
mothers and fathers, cousins, aunts, uncles,
the friends we pass every day –

we thank the driver for the space to dream 
out the window as the light begins to shine
on all of us as we exit the bus
early one morning in December

--John Reinhart


Poet's Notes:  Every year my father read Dickens' Christmas Carol aloud during Christmas. He read aloud to us almost every night long past the time when we could read too. A Christmas Carol was special. Though my own children are not yet old enough for the story, my brother hand bound a copy he compiled and it sits on my bedside this time of year, waiting. Since those days on my father's couch, I have seen several movie versions and two stage versions. None of them compare to Dickens' language.

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