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I saw her sitting on a
Wooden bench at a
Bus station, waiting
For a southbound bus,
Her years, like a wave’s
White foam disappearing
Into the yellow shore
Were quickly fading; I saw
A face of youthful
Vitality diminished
Into the vagaries of old age
Never to resurface again:

Life, a miniscule bit of infinity,
Here today then quickly gone,
Nothing more than a haunting
Song withering in the darkness
Of finite time: Life moves back and
Forth like an ocean’s tide eventually
Slowing to a sudden stillness:

I could see that the old woman’s
Life was fading, her will to
Live vanishing. Then to my
Dismay, I saw her collapse to the ground.
I rushed to help, but death had
Reached her before I,
I thought about life that day, and
About death as I sat on a
Wooden bench at a bus station,
Waiting for a southbound bus…

© James Piatt 2013


In “Waiting for a Southbound Bus”, James Piatt muses upon mortality and how death can come cruelly, randomly, and suddenly amongst the everyday, taking both friend and stranger alike. A sad, reflective and achingly human piece of observational and personal poetry, James puts into words the despair of death and the inevitability of life.

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