I take the school bus quite often. The private companies that own the buses have made cuts, so now the High School children go to school on the same bus as the Primary School children. This can make some pupils late, but also there is some difficulty between the children. This is about what ensues.

They’re throwing cans again

Bottles smashed into the shape

Of Knives

Slice through stuffy air

With the meandering directness

Of paper aeroplanes.


About Primary School teachers

Who bring 5 year olds, and fasten seatbelts.

Leering through the window

Until they cloud the glass

With childish venom.

The bus jerks with their sour syllables

And I screech until my skin wears thin

Like the dead fabric of these glaring chairs.

They are too loud

For the late Tuesday afternoon

But they feel, at 12,

They rule their world

And know it all .

They seem to scream their insults

Like a war cry

But their battle is fighting for

Nothing more than hurt faces

And damaged smiles.

Yet at the front of the bus

They can’t quite reach

Because there

Hair over face

And hands tracing words

Is the boy blocking it out

With a book