"On the Bus Together"

by Jeph Johnson 


She was sprawled across the front seats where disabled citizens are told to sit when I started writing this poem on my phone. 


Next to her stood a 36 by 48 canvas while three more smaller ones were leaning next to it in a brown paper grocery bag. 


They were all propped upright where the wheelchairs are supposed to be strapped in. 


All were fully realized paintings. 


She wore ragged jeans and a Taking Back Sunday concert T-shirt. 


She didn't look the part of the art connoisseur. 


I moved across from her where the other wheelchair is supposed to be. 


The frail frame snapshot screamed "starving artist" and I proudly looked the part of poet. 


We briefly glanced at one another. 


Neither of us spoke for she already had, and I was composing what you're now reading. 


I suppose we belonged there. 


At least until the next stop when the driver started lowering the wheelchair ramp.  

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