1 poem | Emily Strauss

--on a yellow school bus with a famous writer

Any adult on a yellow school bus
is faintly ridiculous on the cracked
children's seats, the scratched, stuck
pull-down windows and this guy
with long hair, kerchief wrapped
around his forehead sits there clowning
around, talking loudly, gesturing lewdly
and we all laugh, joke together, staring
out the open windows, bouncing
on the hard seats, the ocean passing by.

Only later, when I see him in a fedora,
hair pulled back, glasses for reading
from his novel, I know the jokester
on the school bus, the slow yellow
chugging bus that makes us childish
writes books, serious fiction, must
take off his hat, sit quietly, imagine
staring out a window, not on a yellow
bus but to some distant view, the funny
torn seats left behind, his long hair
free, not that guy playing as we lurch
down the road, along for the ride.

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