Glance Off and Continue On

Glance Off and Continue On

Winter and a raw damp morning
School bus ahead of me on the highway
and then I’m alongside
The engine rumbles in my chest.
Second in a two-bus convoy
hauling a full load and every child in motion
faces blurred behind steamed-up windows
here and there messages finger-scrawled on the glass
there is nothing that I can read
the words backwards to me and
at seventy miles an hour meaning that
I pass both buses
before I draw in two breaths of diesel fumes.

The buses recede the rumble fades
the stoic face of the bus driver
set above his orange safety vest and
gripping the wheel with both hands
I see in my rear-view mirror. I catch his eye.
All of them are in the past. I drive on.