Pubic Transport by Paul Tanner

When you get on a bus
know
that you are being punished
for not owning a car
for not buying petrol

the bus fare
it is a pleb tax
for paying your taxes in the first place
and expecting them
to be used on things
like public transport,
cheeky taxpaying pleb that you are

look at your fellow bus plebs:

the young poised at 90 degrees
disaffection squirting out their sores
onto their impersonal technology

the shapeless middleaged hunchbacks
in faded 1990’s bubble jackets
propping up faded 1990’s bubble faces

and the biggest plebs of all
the old
how dare they get this far
how dare they win our wars
how dare they pay a lifetime of tax
and assume they’ll get some compensation
in the autumn of their lives

in the autumn of our country

it’s a jobcentre on wheels
and where is it you’re going?

‘Return ter the jobby please, driver.’

‘Feree twenee, lad.’

‘Kinell, it gone up again?’

‘Not enough,’ says Driver
waddling off to roll a rollie
‘hence me goin on strike,’ striking a match
on the sandpaper rust of the bus stop

and you’d make like a Tebbit
and get on your bike
if you had one.

Paul Tanner photo
Paul Tanner’s new book ‘Notes of A Pleb Vol. 4’ will be available soon and this poem’s from it.
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