Bus Conductors With Blue Eyes

This poem is from Hackney Writers in Print, number 5, 1982. The anthology is a collection of work from the Hackney Poetry Circle, who met every Thursday night at Dalston Library:
‘Circle meetings are conducted on informal lines. Poets are invited to read their poems aloud. The listeners discuss the work. Comments are frank, but usually constructive and helpful. Most writers profit from the co-operative instruction. Mrs Stella Freed reads out the work of writers who do not like reading out their own material.’

Bus Conductor With Blue Eyes

Blue eyes
With a pin point
White diamond light –
Both penetrating
And vacant,
As if looking inward
While watching the world outside
Through Justice’s gauze bandages
Or the front room’s net curtains.

She flips out a wallet
to give change of a fiver,
I snatch a glance
Of a photo of a child.
And I can only assume that
She is a woman
Who is used to
Watching and waiting,
Wounds and work.

Barbara Smith


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