An old woman's bones creak as she climbs aboard a city bus.
She sits in the front, right behind the driver with purse on lap.
Her sheer headscarf is secured with shiny bobby pins
On her face, giant sunglasses reflecting the world that passes.
We pass the old folk's home and her heart flutters.
She's not there, but she knows people, perhaps friends who
Pass the time away there. Or waste away there.
Like passing a cemetary, she holds her breath and says a hail mary
For those who have "passed."
Her wrinkled hands hold her purse tighter, her back straightens
The fear that falls over her face disappears only a few blocks later
Near main street she smiles and converses with others.
Near north street she forgets all about that niggling worry in the
Back of her mind
It comes back only subtly, when she steps off the bus, her bones
Creak their protest and she knows she's damned close to joining
Those who have "passed."