From Bus 66

Sitting on bus number sixty six
I watch the dull day through a greasy pane.
Trying to ignore the wall of passengers around me,
Their struggle to hold on against the strain.

It’s every day like this, the alarm clock, the toothbrush,
The tying of the shoes and the commute.
But today, I hold a secret, my Monday morning purchase,
And it flutters like a bird,
Caught in the pocket of my suit.

For today, at dawn, when the sun was barely up,
And all were struggling to work,
I went down to Joe’s, and said,
“Hey, give me five of those.”
Five ways to win!
Five lottery tickets!

Five shining stars, five rays of light,
Of gold.
I’m sold.

So many types of chances: pick six, win four!
The money nearly dances!
Buy three and score!

Black Jack, Instant Poker, Easy Money, State Lotto,
Pot of Gold, Fast Cash,
Got not cash,
But I’ve got to buy them all!
Play them all!
And then on TV there’s the bouncing balls,
Bouncing, bouncing,
Each with a number, air popped, my fate,
The Ten O’clock Drawing!
Turn it on! Don’t be late!

What’s the supplemental? Oh God!
What’s the supplemental? I need six lousy numbers!
Six lousy numbers to win.

But, I
Still have my tickets.
My five shining tickets,
Just scratch off their silver secret with a dime.
And I’ll play and I’ll pray for a day that’s not like this one
Not this bus, not this suit, not this time.

But maybe Tuesday I’ll be lucky.
Who needs odds, forget the odds.
Cross your fingers, make a wish, and try to cope

With a bus that’s all around, all around
And squeezing like a rope!
But a ticket’s in my pocket,
And its birdsong gives me hope.

--Francine Trester ©1999