The Man on the Bus Sits

The Man on the Bus Sits

His head in his hands
Quiet, he does not say a word
As No. 15 performs a California Stop
Why doesn’t it just run the red light like everyone else in Korea?
Suddenly, he pulls out his face
leans back from his crouch,
Blinking two narrow slits, barely enough for dust to wander through.
He’s much younger than at first glance,
But more tired than the weathered Adjumma,
Whittling away her time at the corner near a bus stop,
Stripping chives of chaff with burlap sack hands,
to sell to an Omma readying dinner
Or a waygook searching for sympathy.
The man does not look around the near-empty bus,
to see if anyone sees his wear and tear
In those narrow eyes,
tired face and hands and body
Brown clothes bouncing off brilliant blue
Of brand-new Nike shoes,
Before No. 15 stops, and he gets off
More ready for sleep than he was last night,
But not quite as much as he will be tomorrow.



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