Missing change

April 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

There is a scuffle

on the bus

between an old man

and a girl

with a big pink face.


He paid her fare


as she searched

the endless lining

of her handbag

for coins buried

in an unmarked grave,



She tries to push

a fresh note

into the closed fist

of the weathered man

as the driver tosses their bodies

like ships

in a battle of apologies.


“No, no, no,”

he says

threading air

around his beige coat

to keep her away,

A lighthouse

in the mid-morning sun.


“please, please,”

she says

throwing money

towards his forehead

and bolting

for safety



We watch wordlessly

sat in our airless amphitheatre

on geometric-pattern cushions

with plastic windows

concealing this performance

of hand-jerking

rosy cheeked shame


but are happy

to have a distraction,

even for a moment,

to fill the empty space

before it is time

to get off.


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