Circle, oblong, ellipse – it’s a round and round route
like the seasons, like the years of which we have seen
so many, but today we’re not asking
How many more? we’re living in the sunny now.
The 9.43’s the first we can travel on
free with our passes – shore to shops and back to the beginning.

They all know each other (I’m the stranger).
Westcountry voices greet each slow new arrival:
John from Rusty Anchor, Geraldine from the corner flats
and after St. Andrew’s school, the woman with white hair
neat on her shoulders, shadowed by her husband.
Her speech is glossolalia. He never hushes her.

And the bus is full of chatter – a flock of birds.
The journey itself is destination. Later
there’ll be new pleasures: market, post office –
but for the moment this is enough. If the driver’s early
at Lockyer Street he’ll halt the ticking bus
and we’ll settle ourselves to enjoy the interlude.

An hour at the shops and we’re back to savour the end
of the outing. Past the bombed church, up to the citadel –
no need of phones or electronic distractions.
The high point of the drive is here – now – as we round the curve
and head south downhill and the whole huge sea
opens its plain of light in front of us.

Chris Considine