“The Ride Home” — a poem by John Stupp

February 26th, 2019

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The Ride Home

He must
have been separated
from a herd of boys
thus he was lost
in his early ‘20’s
blue jeans and an old J & L mill jacket
from Goodwill
in the old days this bus went to Aliquippa
Henry Mancini’s home town
but not now
he tried out several seats
as we left Pittsburgh
but nothing satisfied
then scratched his legs
over and over until they bled
this went on for miles
to him it didn’t matter if the sun was out or not
it wasn’t
it didn’t matter if we made steel anymore or not
we don’t
it didn’t matter if there were good jobs left in this valley
there weren’t
when the driver put him off
I saw how he kept walking behind the bus
getting smaller and smaller
I thought
all day there was snow on the Ohio River
and the storm clouds were low
but not now
because God was watching over him and not us

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by John Stupp

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John Stupp’s third poetry collection.Pawleys Island was published in 2017 by Finishing Line Press. His manuscript Summer Job won the 2017 Cathy Smith Bowers Poetry Prize and will be published in 2018 by Main Street Rag. He lives near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From 1975-1985 he worked professionally as a mediocre jazz guitarist.

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