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The bus stop in the morning

(Jess Picard/ Daily Collegian)

Twisting and looping through the holes of the fence, emblazoned with orange and speckled with green.

You hang low to give out a hug, or maybe to perpetuate your state of emotional autonomy.

Some of your vines are strung closely toward the top of the fence, while others are draped horizontally like teeth in a smile.

Below you lie blades of unassuming grass, taking shelter and guidance from your protective ways. Reaching taller and taller after each rainstorm, until someone comes to trim them. But who comes to trim them?

You’ve grown outstretched across the fence too. Perhaps this is the most important part. That you’re reaching out.

At the end of the fence, you’ve reached the touch of some other greenery.

I’d like to think you’re holding hands with your neighbor. Perhaps you outstretched your palms over time to move closer toward each other after stealing sly glances for years.

Or maybe it’s something that happened more quickly, like love at first sight.

Maybe you caught one glimpse of each other and immediately intertwined, unable to stay away. Grappling for warmth or connectedness or to dismantle a clique. It can happen, after all.

When the wind whips by, you waver, but only in the slightest. It’s almost like the air tickled you with its breath, but you didn’t mind.

You look like autumn the way you smile up at the sun. I imagine pumpkin picking and denim jackets in your essence.

Where I sit on the bench as the bus pulls up I am allowed a perfect view of you. Where I sit on the bench as the bus pulls up I want to reach out and say goodbye, but I’m always in a rush. Where I sit on the bench as the bus pulls up I’ll miss you in the winter when the breeze is far less friendly and the bench somehow harder.

For now, you’re probably the only positive thing about sitting at the bus stop on Main Street. Or taking the bus at 8 a.m. in general.

I’m thankful for you and your quiet beauty. Maybe you won’t go away?

Gina Lopez can be reached at gmlopez@umass.edu.

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