bus stop

Posted: 11/30/2014 in house of crazy, house of strangers

i was at the edge-of-Detroit Northland bus stop, minding my own,

reading the novel i’ve crawled into lately.

figures he’d pick me out.

figures he’d hassle the one middle-aged white gal in the whole place.

It was a long ten minutes

with his ugly face in mine.

with his nasty lips talking shit in my ear.

i can still hear his dumb-assed air of non-existent authority:

“i asked you a question! are you stupid?”

i would have loved to fight him,

and younger me would have.

instead i had to sit there saying “leave me alone” and wishing the bus would come.

I’m glad two young men finally helped me out,

let me escape.

they looked like trayvon martin or michael brown.

nassy-man looked like cliff huxtable.

just goes to show, somethin somethin, but i’m too jangled to put it clear.

meanwhile, i’ll have this cut on my cheek and nick on my lip

for a week or ten days, i guess,

to remind me of my vulnerability.


a poem in three tenses for Real Toads mini challenge.



  1. Kerry O'Connor says:

    If this is based on a real experience, it sounds quite frightening – as a narrative, it is a pretty telling tale of the times – in all three tenses.

  2. Marian says:

    oh gah, this hurts.

  3. To scary to be true.. I have met this.. the non-existent authorities trying to execute their power when they can.. in the end the powerless are trying their best to grab power… Good that you got help…

  4. Helen says:

    .. should have drop-kicked the bastard.

  5. Mama Zen says:

    Oh, hell. That’s terrifying.

  6. Sumana Roy says:

    frightening and sad..

  7. Katy Magee says:

    Your expression of this event has a perfect clarity to it; even the jangled bits come through clearly.

  8. Kay Davies says:

    Oh, Ms Coal, I’m so sorry you had to put up with that, and at the same time I glad you did, because it gave the two young men the chance to help you, and because it gave you this poem to write when you felt less jangled.
    Love you lots,

  9. dani says:

    you know how sorry i am that you had to experience this! just glad those other guys came to your aid before it got really dangerous!

  10. It’s a terrible feeling…vulnerability. It’s on my ASAP to-do list to buy some pepper spray. Seriously.

  11. Frightening place to be–and to feel that vulnerable—really a great write though!

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