“Bus Run,” a poem by Janet Grace Riehl rushes down time’s hill hoping not to be late

Bus Run

by Janet Grace Riehl
(from Sightlines: A Poet’s Diary)

My drumbeat feet
round the corner of our private road
that rushes down towards the river.

A bulldozer a decade past
shaved off the sharp bend in the road
to reduce the odds that downhill cars
crashed into uphill cars.

We trudged up this hill
coming home from school.
But, in the morning,
almost always late,
we dashed cross-county across the horse pasture,
panting, to catch the bus.

My shortcut sprint,
carefully clocked at twelve minutes,
etched a path easy to follow.
My book satchel flew from one wing
and my violin case from the other.

Sometimes the bus did stop on its way back
from its upriver route.
I stood on the river’s side of the highway,
hoping the driver had a good breakfast that day.

A route is routine after awhile.
Breaking a habit is harder than breaking a horse.

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  1. “Breaking a habit/is harder than breaking a horse.”

    I love this line. It is so true, and so Midwestern.

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