Bus Home from Campbell High 1958
On an early summer afternoon
as if propelled by screams of teens inside
the school bus bolts down Bascom Avenue
pouring our raucous kids at several stops
on two lane orchard roads:
Williams, Moorpark, Freestone and Fruitdale.
Kids squirm, baking in the heat of summer sun.
They look out of the windows and see ripened fruit,
smell its sweet scent and scream: “Cherries are ripe!”
At the next stop they flutter out–
ravenous birds of prey descend on unsuspecting trees.
They attack– climbing, grabbing, picking, gorging, stuffing
cherry after cherry into mouths that cannot get enough.
Sometimes clutching three and four at a time
they yank, they stuff, lips red, tongues cherry black,
stopping only to spit out pits,
and then resuming their feeding frenzy.
Suddenly, sprinklers attack.
Someone shouts “Go.”
Kids drop from trees to grab mud-spattered books
from the soft soil where they were abandoned.
It’s a long walk home, but no one notices
as they laugh and jab, scrambling down the dusty roads–
dreaming of summer afternoons
of no more school.