Bristol Ode

The day’s free so I catch the No.1, 11:15 to Cabot’s Circus,
a sheen of drizzle settles on the road
and sunrays gleam on cars- a man bounces  up the aisle, stops
to free his dreadlock caught on the back of a seat-
a woman trips on and leers at the driver who says
Mary, I’ve told you before, you CAN’T bring THAT on here.
It’s hard
to watch –
or say from her purple, pitted cheeks, how old she is,
the hems of her tracksuit are frayed and blackened from dragging on the street,
she doesn’t stop RANTING Beelzebub! Beast!
(I lean into the window)
swings the can of special brew over her head and bowls it
into the aisle.
That’s it, I’m asking you to leave! says the driver.
She mumbles something about fallen angels- roars
FUCK YOU! as she sways down Whiteladies Road.
            On the top deck they look out over the sandstone city
            and through to the hills beyond.

Amy Bacon