Personal Choice 80
My busconductor tells me
he only has one kidney
and that may soon go on strike
Each bus ticket
takes on now a different shape
He holds a ninepenny single
as if it were a rose
and puts the shilling in his bag
as a child into a gasmeter.
His thin lips
have no quips
for fat factory girls
and he ignores
the drunk who snores
and the old man who talks to himself
and gets off at the wrong stop.
He goes gently to the bedroom
of the bus
and watch familiar shops and pubs passby
(perhaps for the last time?)
The same old streets look different now
as through new glasses.
And the sky
was it ever so blue?
And all the time
Deep down in the deserted bus shelter of his
he thinks about his journey nearly done.
One day he’ll clock on and never clock off
or clock off and never clock on.
Roger McGough (1937 - ) is an English poet, performance poet, broadcaster, children's author and playwright. He presents the BBC Radio 4 programme Poetry Please, as well as performing his own poetry. McGough was one of the leading members of the Liverpool poets, a group of young poets influenced by Beat poetry and the popular music and culture of 1960s Liverpool.
A wonderful piece after my own poetic heart to celebrate ordinary human lives and imbue them with dignity and a touch of the divine.