Friday, December 02, 2011

The singing bus driver

The singing bus driver

It’s all over the news
the bus driver in Ottawa
who sang to his passengers for years
until a few complained.

I expect him to feel defeated
at least frustrated
but he is as chipper in his silence
as he was in song.

Bus loads of commuters defend him anyway
hand out song sheets
belting out ballads
in solidarity
not for his right to sing
but for their privilege of witnessing
such joy.

There are even t-shirts
let him sing
selling like hotcakes.

But none of this is what made me cry.

It was the woman whose husband used to sing to her
gone so long now
she rode the bus driver’s route
once a week
a complete loop
not going anywhere
except back in time
her eyes closed
listening to the bus driver croon away
remembering her husband’s voice
breath so warm you can’t believe one day it will stop
he was never able to look right in her eyes
sang to her hands
such an old-fashioned way
of loving her.

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