She was ready to try the school bus, her expression open,
body shifting towards its orange painted side
with the anticipation of a sunflower
catching the morning rays.
The bus pulled up, circled the corner and continued on by.
Her face fell. Her brother’s teasing adding
insult to injury; she could not think
of why the driver did not stop.
“Next time,” I said, “next time, we’ll flag him down, and he’ll know
you’re going with him today.” “Maybe this afternoon,”
she said, composing herself. “Maybe
this afternoon I can take
the bus home.”
At school, her classmates got off the bus and crowded around her,
Excited, drawing her in by the arm and saying, “I saw you!”
“Come,” they said, but she pressed against my bike
so they all stayed with her, a clutch of smiling
nest-mates reunited, waiting for the
irresistible sound of the bell.
October 8, 2008