Central School

Jay S. Paul

From the bus garage beside the river, where motors
idle like the middle of stories, the road
labors uphill to street signs, the faces growing.

You stand in headlights, climb into the certainty
of acceleration, stagger between the lines of jokes,
You want a small place at the end of a seat,
hoping not to be noticed, not to weep when your shoe
flies from shout to shout and against a window.

Leaving the houses to speed along fence, the road
brakes into daily screams at the steep bank, the turn
above the invisible pasture. You name
each day by the wrong they do, reciting
days all day till counting loses count. One year

the shoe they hand is small. They hand it to you.