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Published December 2, 2018

Poetry by Greg Robertson
(Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland)

Hotboxing a Number 44 Bus at Rus Hour

Hotboxing a Number 44 Bus At Rush Hour

by Greg Robertson

Pence is plopped into gaping slot for ticket receival
Upon retrieval weary napper is nodded before schlepping up the stairs to
   the top deck
Clinging to germ-ridden candy canes for stability
Swinging like a munchkin on the monkey bars as I head for the usual post
   three places from the rear
I clock a likely lad lathered in Lacoste sat directly in front of my intended
His lap a jumble sale of familiar accoutrements and paraphernalia, his musk
unmistakably recognisable
I sling him a wink and slink into the seat behind
His boulder headed crew cut filling my line of sight
Fidgeting turns into fumbling
(Bump goes the bus)
Routine now a rigmarole
(Bump goes the bus)
I think he's bitten off more than he can chew, he's making a meal of it
Darting glances clearing his mind of peripheral problems, finally he does the
classic 'I'm done' dust down and I manage to catch a cheeky glimpse at the
fruits of his laborious labour
This cat's a kitten, it's a mouldy peach at best
The flint and spark of a neighbouring lighter catches my lugs
The comforting cologne of an auld acquaintance catches my snout
A plume of smoke bellows out of the brazen chimney breast ahead of me
   and fills the upper level
Fumigating as it floats along with the motion of the moving vessel
Noggin pendulums in disbelief
Bold as brass with a neck to match, this gadgie's a gallant one
I tap the space cadets shoulder to bring him back down to earth, prompt
   met with doss disposition
Another cumulus of carbon monoxide and cannabis is released with
   abhorrent aplomb
There is unrest amongst the ranks
Necks craned, daggers thrown, windows opened emphatically
Theatrical coughs conjured up to instil moral dilemma within the delinquent
White noise to the wash out, he's puffing away like Cockenzie power station
used to
A swarm of tisks and tuts swirls around and reverberates off safety glass
   as a couple old dears mutter in disgust,
"That's awful that is"
"Aye, scum hen, slam um in Saughton with the rest ay the hash heids"

Greg Robertson is a removal porter and poet from sunny Leith, Scotland.
He picked up poetry through a love of language and self expression,
revelling in the power of the word both written and spoken.
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