Spectacle of the Turn (33 Stanyan)

Spectacle of the Turn (33 Stanyan)

A handful

of sleepy passengers

ride the early morning

Stanyan bus

which dutifully

clambers up

the lower slopes

of Corona Heights

and gradually pulls level

with the ragged crag,

a seismic relic

warming in the sun.

A passenger

is peering through

the rear window

through Castro

through Mission

through Potrero

into the glittering bay.

The bus jinks left onto Market

and suddenly the skyline

of glowing high rises

swings into full view

capturing every passengers attention


while the operator

leans out his window

to press the special signal toggle,

then the bus takes that

giant hairpin turn

and now the passengers

are watching in fascination

what seems a certain collision

with the solid retaining wall

which completely

fills the windscreen

at a distance

of perhaps ten inches.

No way can this bus avoid

smashing into the hillside,

and yet it does,

while the operator

cranks the wheel

the wall slides past


as a cargo ship glides

under the bridges

to who knows which port.

Disembarking at Ashbury

at Haight

at Fulton

at Geary

at Cherry

the early morning company

disperse one by one

having faced the wall

and turned the corner

into the light of day.