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29 Apr 13

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Rik Wilkinson (     – 2018)


                    The Special

   Sometimes, waiting for a poem to occur is like
          waiting at a bus stop for a bus.
       It feels like one will never come.
            Oh, but here comes something now!
The coach slows to a stop. The driver, a woman
         turns and speaks; “Climb aboard, please.
                     Constance first, then Dylan.”

   Next, when given permission, I step up to take
a look inside. Many here I know; this young rascal at
the front is Tim, Timothy Winters; he’s head to head
with a laughing Lucy, scheming some mischief, I’ll bet.
   And across the aisle – that’s Peter Grimes.
Behind young Tim is Jane, with a guitar, planning
a girls’night out with Christabel and Maud. And behind
them, two old men quietly converse in agricultural tones;
It’s Michael – and Piers Ploughman. Opposite, I see
a bug-eyed Arthur Prufrock staring ahead, whilst
   Mr Bleaney leans upon the window, fast asleep.
Look – sitting on the back row; Major Robert Gregory,
swapping exploits with Sir Patrick Spens, I’d guess.
To their right Commander Lowell is blundering again;
trying to chat up the Lady of Shallot. She just doesn’t
want to know. And in front of them – good heavens, it’s
Bishop Blougram and Fra Lippo Lippi, leafing through
   a colour magazine of … devotional art, I suppose.
There are many others – names I do not know. Oh, do
excuse me! Constance and Dylan – poems of mine;
Constance – quite small, but perfectly formed; and
Dylan – he’s a very naughty poem. Don’t get too
   involved with him, Constance; please sit with Jane!
The Muse – the lady driver – she’s waiting for me
to dismount. You appreciate it’s not appropriate for
   a poet to travel on this bus. Unless, perhaps,
                            ones name is Adonias.
    I’ll step off now and try to hitch a lift.

Rik Wilkinson

published in Poetry Salzburg Review No. 16, Autumn 2009