04 May 2009

Number 3 Bus, Late Afternoon, A Wednesday

Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, The People’s Republic of China, 1986

And the kid is a drooler,
Downs Syndrome it looks like,
maybe not so terribly severe
but bad enough,
looks 35 or 40
but that doesn’t mean much
and the old man who sits
next to him,
who regularly holds
a white cotton handkerchief
to his son’s or maybe his grandson’s lips,
that old man looks 60 or 90.
Again, hard to tell.

They get off the bus
at the Bell Tower stop
just inside the city’s ancient wall.
As the rest of us pull away toward the city center,
a flash of white cotton
marks their path
across the crowded avenue
toward what really should be home.

1 comment:

  1. So what excuse can you give the rest of us for drooling?