we’ve all got problems
she gets on the bus
with her kid
she’s wearing a hostess outfit
and a gray hat
the kind that fidel castro likes
she’s talking to her daughter
about some bully in school
who punched the child
in the face.
the kid might be five.
this has happened three times
and no one told her about
until today, she says
and, look, you have a black eye too, she says,
holding her child’s face and examining it
until she realizes she’s missed their stop
and the bus has to pull over
three blocks beyond where they needed.
we’ve all got problems, i think,
watching the woman and her battered child
haul ass off the bus
she’s got a bully to deal with
and probably a shit job
in a bad restaurant
and a child to care for on one salary
others have death and debt
and everything else to deal with.
right now my knees are jammed on this bus
and i can’t get my fat ass
on just one of these plastic bus seats.
the bus driver has pulled over on a green light
to have a smoke break
because he’s union and he can.
not too bad and not too good either
but i’m probably going
to have to start
laying off the beer
sooner rather than later
try and get some of this weight down
before the new year arrives.