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Old Man on the City Bus

by Erica Beatriz Harrington, 18, Benicia, California

For heaven's sake man,
Will you not sit?—
Any place is fine.
You're thin enough!
Believe me sir, sit anywhere—
You'll fit!

Good grief, old man,
Don't snivel at me.
Does my sitting here make you nervous?
Then move yourself—
I've been here longest.
Out of respect, do me that service.

Oh pay your dues,
Pull up your pants.
You could be my father thrice,
Or more so than this bus fair,
Will your ego pay the price!
So just sit down—please!

Come, thou, little man,
This is no way to live your life.
All this drama
Now shocked to find
You're yelling at your WIFE!
This is ridiculous.

"Here, sit here," I say—
I can't take this agony.
And grudgingly you take my seat,
Your wife thanking profusely.
I think it's sad you have
To be so old and difficult

I pull the cord, now it's my stop.
I smile and wave goodbye.
Your wife smiles back,
Thanks me again.
You let out a grudging sigh.
How can she put up with you?

I think to myself while walking
With my books and things to school
How petty he's made his life to be.
Goodness, what a silly fool!
But his wife simply adores him.
He must have been charming years ago.

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