She can’t be more than fourteen years old
fifteen tops.
Her father is probably pushing somewhere in his mid-forties
and is sitting right next to her, whispering in her ear
Words that only she can hear

Each of her fingers are adorned by rings
and both her wrists are bound in jewelry
that must feel like they came from so far away
As does the cane she holds in her right hand
and the tears that she tries to blink back but dribble down her cheeks

The father wraps her arms around her and draws her close
and the mechanical voice comes on and belches out the names of the stops
This seems to have a calming effect on her
and the darkness and the daylight,
are now one and the same

I think to myself
that maybe this a dry run or a dress rehearsal,
the first of many
to ensure that both of their fears can be alleviated
and she can step out into the world on her own

What the blind girl on the bus can’t see
I can
Some people staring down blankly into the palms of their hands,
Others occupy seats they have no business sitting in
and are oblivious to her plight.

They don’t have to count the steps between the in betweens
because to the blind girl on the bus
they are the steps
and maybe she sees more than they do
to know what comes next

So I think myself
“Safe journeys young lady”
May your footsteps find their way home
and maybe, God willing, somewhere beyond
the bus stop.

Somewhere beyond what I saw,
and beyond what I felt
Somewhere beyond the here and the there
and beyond the past and the present
Somewhere beyond the darkness