Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lady at the Bus Station

she was about my age
about thirty
about to remember where she was going
unless the going was unpleasant
then she'd just talk
and once she was sitting
you couldn't tell the crank
had put a bend in her back
ruby tuesday yesterday

she started on the kid behind her in line
who was wearing a walkman
and after hearing her chatter he lent it to her
to shut her up and maybe off
she marvelled probably forgetting
that she'd seen the things before
and put it on and sang along
in a voice made raw and naked
by cigarettes and whiskey

she sang through a few songs
and the line got longer
and she looked back at her followers
and looked bored stood up gave the walkman back
and said
i've got to go to the ladies' room
she left the bus left
she came out again
trying to remember where she was going
hoping for better companions

from Bar Room Ballads (1992)

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