In the middle of a shabby
council estate, a girl gets on the bus.
She is wrong.
Something about her is wrong.
She is in the wrong place. She is in the wrong
time. She wears clothes from the forties,
She is impeccable.
This is a word I never use but
it suits her, it fits her
as well as her clothes. She wears big, round
spectacles, just the right size for her roseapple
face. Blonde hair curls out from beneath a
hat, I don’t know the style name, it is plain,
like something a flapper would wear. Her jacket,
lincoln green, is cut just right, flared, resting on
her hips. Her skirt, a plaid material, faint check,
moulds to her figure. Incongruous, she wears
beatbox headphones, clamped over the hat.
She mounts the bus from a shitty street,
where I have seen shitty people do
shitty things to other people.
How did she make herself this way,
here, in this place?
She sits behind me and I
can’t look. Thinking about her, I drift off
and almost miss her when she gets up
and leaves the bus a few stops later.
I know I will never
see her again. I will never be able
to say to her,
“You are magnificent.”
First published November 27, 2019