We stand in stoic silence,
peering through perspex panels
for the bus with our number on it.
All shelters in time are visited
and we, waiting, occupy ourselves
with a thousand tiny distractions
until we see it nose slowly
around the corner, and greet it,
not with welcoming arms
but with wretched relief
and, as we feel the press of coins
in clammy palms, we wonder
whether this is a poem
about buses and bus shelters at all
or, rather, one about life and death
because that’s the kind of thing
that poets write about
and we climb aboard anyway
as it is warm inside
and this one has free wi-fi.
The day the tubes went on strike
there was mess everywhere,
in cupboards and cabinets and forgotten-about drawers,
on shelves, in boxes, and across bathroom floors.
Toothpaste hastened across wash basins
whilst ointments oozed without appointments
into places they shouldn’t have been,
mixing with overzealous gels, unguents and lubes,
and creams to assist in the removal of pubes,
as all lotions became one for lack of their tubes.
Kitchen floors became beaches strewn with shingle,
crunching underfoot sour cream and chive Pringles,
mixed in with a smattering of scattered smarties,
like the confectionary confetti of children’s parties.
EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL CONTAINERS
was the mantra of the tube campaigners.
Parity with tin cans and bottles, they believed,
would end their fear of being constantly squeezed.
Whether they were successful, no-one quite knew.
The next day, there was a lot of clearing up to do.
the last bus home
i still don’t know
how you got it through the door
but you’re always doing amazing stuff
like the time
when you caught that train