Route 640

Kurt Rasmussen

Photo Credit: Rigers Rukaj/Flickr (CC-by)

It is a dark November morning. The early riders are quiet
because the usual driver is training a new man.
She tells him about each railroad crossing, every stretch of potholes
and what to expect when approaching each stop.
She has something to say about each quarter-mile.

To hear her tell it, this bus route is a teeming river
with eddies and backwaters, rapids and depths.
She knows almost every rider, most of us by name
and whose son is currently at the wars
and whose daughter will be graduating soon.

The new man will recall not a tenth of her words
but there is no need. The route he will drive
will not be this one, even if it follows the same roads.
The purpose of her speaking is not to instruct.
She is telling us all her poem about our city.

I sit back and think about what makes things go.
How would you ever write it down in a manual?
People keep telling me that the world runs on greed.
They must get to work some other way.


“Got myself born, learned to walk and talk, went to school, played, ate, slept, started writing (first story about a baseball player that my sister made fun of), fell in love, got my heart broke (occasionally used “bad” grammar intentionally, sometimes not), got married, had kids, wrote stuff once in a while, got divorced, finally got some stuff published, became ruler of a small nation state in my mind, wrote this biography ending with this period: .” Email: godonefiftyone[at]

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