I stand at the stop for the uptown bus.
Out from the shadows of the adjacent church
a ground-level wind scoops up from the sidewalk
a transit pass somebody dropped
and sends it midair where it loops three times,
then catches the next wind into the upper sky.

The body is the stuff of paper—flimsy, easily torn,
a tissue of delight and pain that longs for transportation,
to be caught up by drafts from a happier life,
a lift from the heaviness of time.

I feel that heaviness now as I wait on this corner.
The uptown bus is very late.
My eyes wander to the graveyard across the street
where the dated tombs stand in the noon sun like paperweights.

Jene Erick Beardsley

About the poet: Jene Erick Beardsley was born and raised in Mount Vernon, New York. He graduated from the University of Illinois with an MA in English Literature and for over thirty-five years taught poetry. His poems have appeared in Verse Daily, Amherst Review, Sojourners, Fulcrum, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Green Mountains Review, Lullwater Review, South Carolina Review, Ibbetson Street Press, New Ohio Review, California Quarterly, Tribeca Review, New Letters, and many others.