Bio Note: I wrote this poem in graduate school and rode the bus to campus; the vets usually got off at the mall.
On the Metro
Jesus often rode the metro bus, the one that stopped at the VA hospital before roaring to the mall, where I transferred to the campus bus. We didn't talk much, though he asked me once what I was reading. I told him, “Poetry – Sharon Olds,” then flushed remembering her “The Pope's Penis” and “What if God.” He nodded: “Sharon has chutzpah.” I looked into his eyes. Just then a skinny old vet with pointy yellow teeth in his wide, wide grin said, “Figger the Russians'll be here by spring.” “John, you say that every year – Johnny's a little paranoid,” Jesus said to me. “Reminds me of a fishing buddy of mine – ” “They'll be here!” Johnny yelled and poked the vet in front of him. “Shit! Don't even start with me, fuckin' weirdo,” the poked vet spit at Johnny, then went back to staring out the window. New snow was tearing past gray banks along Third Street, as we turned east and bounced across two sets of railroad tracks. I wondered about Jesus' feet; even with thermal socks, sandals weren't adequate for this weather. But I retreated to The Father Poems as Johnny asked Jesus, “Tell me the one about the mustard gas.” “Mustard seed,” Jesus said.
©2022 Irene Voth
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to say what it is about the poem you like. Writing to the author is what builds the community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL