Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Long Shadows

photo © Mark Butkus 2009
"The wheels on the bus..."

The long shadows
of the school bus
race alongside the pasture
brushing against
the crops in the field
knocking over fence-posts
the sun is still low
over the horizon
rising to begin
another new day

There is no laughter
within the walls
of the yellow and black babysitter
Behind the wheel
she sits, eying her coffee
her empty playground
rolls down dusty roads

She will return late afternoon
racing back the other way
The field-hands will
make note of the time
as they straighten out their backs
and watch as she goes by
They know that their day
working the earth is almost done

Thirty minutes later
the bus will pass them once again
slower this time, with care
with the voices of her precious cargo
blending into a cacophony
of childhood excitement

One hand from the parched earth
will wave
as it always does
at the passing tinted windows
Whether anyone inside
sees her or not
It is who she is
and the long shadows
touch her soul

— Mark Butkus