After Nate Marshall’s ‘praise song

Praise to the late bus
Praise to the early bus
Praise to the bus driver
That found a way here against all odds

Praise be upon
The fumble, the pocket pat,
The “damn, I swear I had it”,
the two dollars that never were

but the ride that still be —
Praise be the OG rideshare.
The person in the back
with your fare in hand

Praise be the Southside
bus driver that lets you go
for free.
Praise be the finesse:

The ads plastered along the window
That paid for all of this to happen,
Praise be the one way windows,
Praise seeing a world

That will never see you.
Praise this morning rush local bus
that sees you.
The eye contact we all make

at once—
The “I done seen you before”s,
The “I done heard yo ass before”s,
Praise to those who came before.

The cycle that keeps every seat
in the back warm,
the pitter-patter of bouncing

Praise be to the sights
we all see.
How a neighborhood blurs
into a cityscape

Praise be upon the bus route
that don’t change
when the sidewalks do.
Praise to the construction work that does.

Praise the humming engine
That sings no matter what.
Praise the creaks, the squeaks,
The cracks, the leaks—

Praise every bus
That has made it this far
And keep an old transfer slip
In your pocket for each bus that hasn’t.

Praise the bus drivers that say goodmorning
Every morning

Say a good afternoon
For every bus driver that waits for a runner.

Wish a good evening for every bus driver
That is on time to make sure you can have one.

Tug a cord for every stop you remember by heart.
Remember your life in routes
And arrival times;
Know how late you will be

To get to where you need to be
Know how okay you will be
When you finally do.

Praise the glowing yellow sign
in the distance.
Praise how slow it comes.
Praise how fast it goes.
Praise be to going.
Praise be upon the dozens of us
that are all going somewhere
But to nowhere near the same somewhere.

Praise be upon the passenger.
Everyone from the schoolbound youth
To the elders treating the front seats
Like a classroom.

Praise the 2-hour commute.
Praise the rush hour express bus.
Press the efficient
The proficient

The existent.
Praise the homies.
Praise each of ‘em that have been
Along for the ride

Praise the homies I’m riding from,
Praise the homie’s I’m riding for,
Praise the home’s I’m riding to.

Praise the people
That move and shake
Like a rickety J14.

Praise every horsepower
in my diesel chariot.
Praise everywhere I’m going today
And praise the way

I get there.

✶ ✶ ✶ ✶

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