Bus Stop Magic

Elizabeth Harmatys Park

Waiting at the bus stop
is all about magic

If looking up the street
impatiently, anxiously
doesn’t work, try
looking down the street
affecting indifference,
imagining the bus
will take you by surprise

If counting cars doesn’t work
and stomping your booted feet
or smacking your mittens together
has no effect, then it is time for magic

Time to start saying Hail Marys
First a quick one, then a slow
deliberate and reverent one
then five, or ten, or maybe
fourteen if that is how old you are

Then when you are so cold
your bare legs are numb
from your knee socks
to the white cotton underwear
under your uniform skirt
say the Hail Mary backwards

This will be very difficult
with many false starts
but the magic always works
and the bus will likely come
even before you finish

because that magic is just so strong

 Elizabeth Harmatys Park

Elizabeth Harmatys Park

Elizabeth Harmatys Park is a Wisconsin native, a sociologist, and a peace and prison volunteer.  Her poetry has been published in journals and in the Wisconsin Poetry calendar.  She is the past recipient of the Jade Ring First Prize in poetry awarded by the Wisconsin Writers Association.