Catching the Bus #2 RSS

Catching the Bus #2

07 April, 2016: Catching the Bus #2


by Margie Shaheed

Catching the Bus #2

11:01 PM Cleveland, OH 44105

The paradigm for safety has shifted. As I'm getting ready to
leave my daughter's house she tells me not to go to the
same bus stop I used earlier in the day because at night it’s
dangerous. She said a few weeks ago a man was beaten
and shot on his way to that bus stop late at night.   I blame
myself for not leaving earlier.   I dread the only alternative—a
10 minute walk out of the way to the other bus stop where
the street is lit, although dimly, and the bus is known to run
slower at night. Her boyfriend insists on walking with me to
the bus stop, and says he'll wait for the bus to come.
Outside, the cold has thrown a damp cloth over the night air.
We brace ourselves for the long walk.   When we finally get
to the bus stop he puts my bag down on the ground.   And as
is habit for folks who catch the bus, we take turns walking to
the curb, leaning our bodies over its edge like question
marks.   We angle our heads in the direction of the bus and
look up the street—as if waiting for Jesus to come back—
with conviction; we keep constant tabs on the bus headlights
because doing this makes us feel like it will make the bus
come quicker. The bus arrives 20 minutes late.

“Catching the Bus #2” by Margie Shaheed from Onomatopoeia. NightBallet Press, 2015. Used by permission of the author.


Margie Shaheed is a poet, writer and performance artist who conducts creative writing workshops for children and adults in a variety of settings: traditional classrooms, libraries, theatres, community arts centers, and clinical settings, including community mental health centers and outpatient substance abuse treatment programs. Her two chapbooks are The Playground (Hidden Charm Press, 2015) and Onomatopoeia (NightBallet Press, 2015). Other poetry and short stories by Shaheed have appeared in Essence Magazine, Black Magnolias Literary Journal, The Mom Egg Review, great weather for MEDIA, Blackberry: A Magazine, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, Specter, and online at Femficstio, Split This Rock and TimBookTu.



Write a poem from a political statement made by this year’s Presidential candidates that you find ridiculous or moving. Can’t remember any? Google the candidate’s name + “Quotes.” In your poem, make a prediction unrelated to politics.
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READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.