On A Glasgow Bus by Robina Fisher

The driver slams the breaks and revs the engine
Passengers struggling to stay on their feet
He makes them pay for more than their fare
Hating them all, because of her ugly spitting mouth

‘dinnae come back ya dunderheid’
‘Nae worries, ye hackit craw, am aff fur good.’

An old soldier defending his right to two seats
His beanie hat full of holes
The scarlet pompom is a warning beacon
‘Naw, ye cannae sit here. On yer bike
Ah fought Hitler, piss aff’

She catches the boy’s collar
He stabs the air with toy pistol and sword
Dragons and bad people still to slay
She will be glad to hand him back
‘Cummoan son, sit doon
Gie yer auld granny peace’

Their body language tells it all
She staring out the window
His hand she flings aside
‘Dinnae touch me, ya scunner’
‘Keep the heid, it wisnae that bad’
‘Aye it wis,you’re a pure wanker’

A man slurps from a can of high-energy drink
A box of low energy light bulbs on his lap
A young woman catches his eye
‘Want a wee sook hen?’
‘Naw, thanks’

A woman puffing and sweating
She is needing air
A man opens a window
She nods and smiles
‘Ta, am like this aw the time
The joys of gettin auld’

The Digital message scrolls ”Tuesday 11.15”
She sits pressed against the window
Clutching a bottle to her chest
‘Last time ah looked it wis Sunday’
A packet of cigarettes are discovered
Surprised and happy she sings
‘Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way’

My stop approaches
Swaying, balancing down the aisle
ding ding, ding ding
The bus slams to a halt
‘Thanks driver, enjoyed the journey’
‘You tryin tae be funny?’
He glares, thinking me a fool.

The bus pulls away
There she is looking out
The bottle at her lips
She gives me a thumbs up
I raise my hand in salute
My heart feels sad, somehow

People watching
Their lives imagining
On a Glasgow bus