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The Ride This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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The short bus ride
from here to the other end
of the world
is therapeutic
and calm.

The gray-haired driver greets me, nodding,
and I wonder if he knows
how I used to feel
about his grandchild.

There's that path I always cross,
and there's the road I avoid.
The snowbanks on the sidewalks are tainted and dirty;
it seems like it's been years since they were pure.

I pass that house
that I pass every day
and see it
for the first time.
It's never been there

but I suppose it has.

There's that ignorance again.

Around me there is the laughter
of boys with angels on their backpacks.
I know she's here with them and
it's strange to know we're not alone.

I see that blond-headed girl
scowl and sniffle and
turn her back away from
everyone she knows.
She loves the boy behind her.
If only she knew
he loved her back.

We pass the place that provokes all my thoughts;
the scariest place on Earth, because
even though He's supposed to hold all the answers
my questions hang hauntingly, mockingly,
from that steeple.

When I leave my seat will remain empty,
the indent in the plastic
showcasing my extra weight.
The old man will nod, and I will avoid his gaze –
the gaze that tells me he knows my thoughts and what I see,
knows what I don't know, sees what I don't see.

Somehow, it seems, along his ride
he has come to understand everything
that I am simply,

(barely),

considering.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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