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Golden crunchy leaves, bumpy bus.

House names, Astrid’s Villa and Daphne’s Dream…

Victorian Villa’s, Edwardian Houses,

smell of diesel and other bodies

I’m taking the bus today…

It’s something new for me,

not since a young child have I taken the bus,

now I am old and enjoying the free concession

for the bumpy ride.


It started in the Autumn months when

crunchy ginger leaves covered the lanes

on the side roads into town.

Five or six ladies with bags and many years

of friendships, waited to board,

they shuffled down the aisle

bags and some trolleys left in the front hold.

I sat towards the back and listened,

“Hello Maud” said one but they all replied!

“Alright Bridget thanks” “still here said another”

then they chatted animately and all laughed together…

The bumpy bus was a meeting place,

I was new, they smiled and I smiled back.

I thought of school days and enjoyed the views

from my high window seat,

such a change from only seeing the main road

and the busy traffic.

Round the back of Lincoln we went,

passing by the old villas and twisting through

narrow busy streets, ending at the new bus station.

“ Bye Flora, bye Joan, byeeeeee, see you later.”

At 4pm I caught the bus back,

the ladies arrived carrying their various parcels

and wielding their trolly bags. A mad commotion

followed as they settled, bargains were discussed

perpended, considered, debated and chewed-over.

A couple of the ladies had treats for the driver,

amusing as he opened the paper bags to a

custard tart, a pork pie and tales of their adventures…

He had a word for everyone, as I concealed a smile.

I got off at my stop and a chorus of goodbyes

followed with “see you next week!”

I returned their smiles and waved.

The elderly ladies travelled on to the next village

heads down, reminiscing I thought,  as

I walked the last bit home, slowly thinking

I had returned to my childhood

with one free fare,

bringing memories of school days

and the bumpy bus that took us there…


A full circle perhaps and

now an occasional new life,

this free concession that

brought memories and joy…

©️susiehemingway. 2023