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Elaine prepares for school
she slept bad
odd snap dreams
of John


but then
he was gone
she ties her
brown shoe laces


and has made
an effort
with her black hair
brushed it


into some kind
of style
(her younger sister


her mother reties
her school tie
must look tidy
her mother says


can't have you
a bad example
Elaine wonders


if John will be
on the school bus
and how
she will feel


if he is there
after yesterday
and the row
or whatever


it was
her mother
smiles at her
have a good day


she says
she and her sister
for the school bus


to come
her sister talks
to others waiting
next to them


but all Elaine
can think of
is John
and if he


is on the bus
and will he
look out at her
when the bus stops?


the thought
of him staring
at her
from the bus window


makes her feel flushed
has she blushed?
she wonders
she fiddles


with her satchel strap
touches her hair
she sniffs
her mother's scent


she borrowed
not too much?
she sniffs again
where is the bus?


she breathes in deep
that kiss
began it all
that one kiss


and all this
the school bus
comes around
the corner


she tenses
her eyes look
at the ground
in case he's looking


at her
she becomes
self conscious
imagines him


staring at her
she senses
her body leak
as she climbs on board


behind a boy
with ginger hair
she wishes she
was elsewhere


not here
not anywhere
where he
can stare


she thinks
sitting in a seat
all emptied of self
staring at her feet.

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