This is no city for gypsies.
The man sitting three rows ahead of me offered assurances
that the downtown food pantry was helping more people
than ever in economic hard times.
The bus driver is silent and unaware
of the stories he ignores.
People who have known down and out tend to be nicer
because they understand the true currency of kindness.
Late middle age white woman talking about her
knee replacement, about the diet she's on (pre-surgery),
and how she really wants a milkshake and still writes letters.
Menopausal black woman, no tiny bird herself
talks about her recent vacation to Atlantic City
with her sister, and the varying and different degrees of orange lipstick.
Down Salem, transitioning from a fading center of commerce
to an old working class neighborhood – single family houses converted
into multi-unit apartments. (Good for college students.
Right on the bus line.)
Down Martin Luther King and Prospect Hill,
Liberty Hill, past the 5 and Diner on Sycamore
and into Government Square.
Sidewalks littered with workaday folks
shirt and tie crowd, bottle shaped blonde
in a short tight skirt crowd painted on
Street Vibes vendor, someone's grandmother maybe,
smoking s cigarette in the shadow of the courthouse
corporate tagged Fountain Square, bank skyscrapers,
and the Mercantile Center, with a beautiful library
hidden carefully from plebeian view.
I behave as I always do
and wait for my connection.