I saw America get on the Bus


I know it’s been a while since I posted last and this post is also late as it was meant as my Fourth of July post, but here it is!

This is a poem I wrote after riding a bus in New York City several years ago.  I was intrigued and humbled by how the bus (or subway for that matter) levels the playing field.  Every kind of person from every kind of background gets on the bus to get where they are going.  People are not judging each other or trying to be better than the person next to them; they are simply trying to get to their destination in life, but they are doing it together.  Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we treated our personal journeys  that way?  Just a thought…


I saw America get on the Bus©

By Vernée Smith-Isbell

I saw America get on the bus today

Shoulder to shoulder, packed tight shades of

Carmel, mocha, vanilla,

Bittersweet, latté, honey

Cinnamon, sugar, chai

Coffee with and without cream

Buildings rush by

So many suits and ties

Folks on the corner stand in line

I saw America get on the bus today

And they all talk the same; they speak

Lingo, slang, jargon

Colloquial, vernacular, patois

Dialect, idiolect, and lingua franca

She’s twenty minutes late

He has a lunch date

And it’s all very quaint

I saw America get on the bus today

CD, MP3, radio and cell

Each echo their own soundtrack

Latin jazz, classic rap, doo wop swing

Reggae blues, soul country, techno punk

Rhythm & rock, hip opera, disco pop

A baby cries

People start to rise

And I just close my eyes

The Music

    The People

The Voices

They blend together like harmonies

Each completely different,

But each compliments the next in perfect composition

I saw America get on the bus today

And I smiled.


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