Night Journey: On the Greyhound Bus
I trusted the soft-spoken driver,
the sound of his foot on the pedal,
humming of the engine
once we reached the highway,
cocooned by other passengers,
coaxing me into a dreamless sleep.
When we were further south, past midnight,
we stretched our legs at a gas station –
suddenly aware of the closeness
of strangers – and that first wave
of hot humid air. I knew in the morning
we would reach sunny Richmond,
and I would run into the arms of my father.
I still love that Richmond moon,
that southern heat – the Howard Johnson’s motel
with its neutral-coloured curtains,
pull-out bed and starchy whites.
My first taste of a sun shower
standing in the shallow end of the pool –
sunshine and rain as astonishing
as the sudden happiness of my family.