‘Bus’ by Theresa Muñoz


A piece of your childhood never confessed.
And I confess I heard it from Dad.
Those humid months
the family home was a broken down bus.
Ditched beside a graffitied wall.
Three brothers and three sisters.
You the youngest.
Mostly I imagined the evenings.
Streetlight warming the greasy windows.
Doors rattled by cars.
Each kid curled on a bench seat,
inhaling leather.
Grandpa, a ticket conductor, dreaming at the wheel.
A bus poised for the road
but didn’t go anywhere.

After Dad told me I watched you carefully.
For signs of old sadness.
A nurse, you took the train home from work,
if work lasted all night.
Glided down the escalator at seven am.
Fed a ticket into the blue machine.
Spied a window seat as the train pulled in.
It’s how I imagined you coming home.
Blinking at the rails of sun in my room.
How to let you know I knew.
Could only blend you before and now:
asleep against the glass,
your small face lifted
by the day’s long, long light.
Theresa Muñoz was born in Vancouver, Canada to Spanish-Filipino parents and now lives in Edinburgh. Her work has appeared in Poetry Review, Canadian Literature, and many other journals. A debut pamphlet, Close, was published by HappenStance Press in 2012. She has completed a Ph.D. in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow, on the work of Tom Leonard. She is a regular contributor to Scotland’s Herald book pages and is the online editor of the Scottish Review of Books.