Sunday, 14 May 2017


by Mary K O'Melveny

It’s time to Rise and Shine!
My Mother’s voice calls out.
Positive emphasis.
She greets our newest day.

I’m counting the minutes
left to me to wash up,
quickly dress, grab my books,
pens, papers and race out.

The aging yellow school bus
rumbles up the steep hill,
swaying slightly, rough road
a challenge to the best.

I am in a new world
and I am not amused.
Parents will do these things
and never tell you why.

In the wink of an eye
we had landed here, a farm,
Pacific Ocean left
back, blinking, beckoning.

We’re miles from anywhere,
I cried.  NOTHING is here!
Later, I understood
my Mother thought the same.

What WERE we doing here?
She used to sit often
at the little yard goods
store bus stop.  Longingly.

Sometimes it just makes no
difference where the bus
is headed as long as
you’re on it when it goes.
But of course she never
did get on.  She came back
home.  Made our little meals.
Took in our tales of woe.

Got us up each morning,
her game greeting the same.
I never even knew if 
she bought a bus ticket.

* * * * *

Mary K O'Melveny is a retired labor rights lawyer living in Washington DC and Woodstock NY.  Her poems have been published in various print and on-line journals such as FLARE:  The Flagler Review, Into the Void, Allegro Poetry Magazine and The Offbeat.  Mary's poem "Cease Fire" won the 2017 Raynes Poetry Competition sponsored by Jewish Currents magazine and appears in the anthology "Borders and Boundaries" published by Blue Threads Press.

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