Weekend Writing Warriors – Dec 7

This is the first 150 or so words of a poem I wrote after being on this bus, watching the situation unfold, taking notes and fantasizing what the bus driver seemed to be feeling.
She is a small, intense woman who seemed to relish taking care of her fellow Chicagoans and driving a monster bus.

You can see the entire poem and one other, Old River Town, on the Poems in Progress page.

You may notice that I have turned one of the posts into my home page. I have also updated it a bit if you want to take a peek. It is now the “owls know…” page.





First time I pulled my 5’1” frame into this articulated monster & made it move a mere block with real passengers on board,

I was terrified.

The size. The turning. The responsibility.CTALiving streets

But today, five years, three months and six days later, this is more home than the

ramshackle, half boarded-up, graffiti-ridden place where I nuke Wendy’s and spend my nights.


Enjoying this beautiful September day, blue skies, 80s, strapped in, checked in, ready

to flow through the living streets of Chicago.

But almost from the start, saw no chance of flowing today.

Barely two hours in and hit gridlock, the almost total, NYC kind of gridlock

that cocky Eastern town

never could control, even had to make laws about.

Chicago always knew better, even back in buggy days,

knew how to flow, move just right, slide on by, scoot right in, figure the angles,

find space, clear for the other guy.


About jeanlatzgriffin

Jean Latz Griffin is the owner of CyberINK, a small business that produces quirky skeleton-themed products. She has finished the first draft of a historical fantasy and received comments from her agent. She has turned to Orson Scott Card for tips on the second draft. She is author of "In the Same Breath," and "One Spirit: A Creation Story for the 21st Century." She has a certificate in creative writing from the University of Chicago's Writers Studio. Griffin is a member of the growing community of former Chicago Tribune reporters, enjoys Weekend Writing Warriors and the Story Studio in Chicago. Her Sheltie, Thunder, likes to "type" on her computer keys, and Dr Wu, a Weimaraner, likes to lick her ear when she is trying to think. Her husband passed in June of 2011. Her three fabulous grown sons live nearby. She plays violin in an amateur string orchestra.

14 Responses

  1. I’m not really a poem sort of person, but I liked this 🙂 I used to live in San Francisco, so I have an intimate knowledge of public transportation, and the bus driver comes off as real even though this is a short snippet. You did a good job contrasting the pros and cons of city life. thought the personification of NYC was a neat touch. Yeah, the east coast is pretentious XD Although I think Boston more pretentious than NY. I live on the west coast but my sister is getting her PhD from Harvard, so I’ve been to Boston a few times. This was a good read. Looking forward to next week ^^

  2. I remember how terrifying it felt the first time I drove a car, so I can imagine how a first time bus driver would feel. I find being in a car/bus/train pretty inspirational for poetry, too–it must be all that fast motion waking up your brain!

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