“When I Must Take You Home” by Victoria Hunter

I look past the people
who look in our bus window.
I look beyond the bus driver,
to the small red speck of light
that develops like blood as it grows.

I hear loose iron crank, ready to fall apart
like the legs of an old person,
and then a screech, as they are restrained
against the over-salted road.

I smell old grease from fried chicken
and the faint foul blends of sweat
in poor labor work
and sheds of old homeless skin.

I feel a touch of spring, not yet entirely grown
I turn to you, shake you just a little,
like the fall morning,
when you first open the front door
and I say, “Wake up, wake up, we’re home,
this is where we get off,
and you stagger to your feet,
like a baby after falling,
grasping at bars and arms,
that aren’t there.

“When I Must Take You Home” first appeared in Writers and Readers

Victoria Hunter is from Pennsylvania and loves to write, read, and travel. She was a nominee for the 2020 Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. She has received awards from online writing communities and has completed various writing courses. Her poem above, “When I Must Take You Home,” placed in the 2020 Poetry Super Highway Contest. Her work has appeared in Better Than Starbucks, Sparks of Calliope, The Stray Branch, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, Black Telephone, and Down in the Dirt, among others.

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