THE BUS TO ABILENE

Standard

Someone says “I’ve got a great idea,”
and right away my mind goes
to a story with a moral I once heard:

Three generations of a Texas family
were bored and languishing on their front porch
in summer heat when someone said
“Let’s take the bus to Abilene.”
Seemed like a good idea, and so they went.

And when they got to Abilene they met
with disappointment, still too hot and bored.
On the way back home somebody said
“You know, I didn’t really want to go.”
Another person nodded then, admitting
“Nor did I, but I thought you
were wanting to, and so….”on and so on.

The moral, if there’s one, hints of a truth
about ideas: they don’t sit still,
will not be owned.  Even the good ones

come to different minds shifting their shapes
to suit a person at a time.  Copyright law
dares not even try to pin them down.

Which is why whenever I am told
brainstorming, teams, or sitting with committees
bring about the best idea, I doubt it.

But that’s only my idea.  For now.
I am not watching for the bus to Abilene
or even to the mall, for my idea is this:

sometimes a good time is not had by all,
sometimes not had by anyone at all.

6 responses »

  1. I’m on a little rest break and thought I would read about Abilene. I enjoyed the poem immensely and agree about ideas that definitely cannot be owned. They shape themselves to the situation as well as the person. I have to go now. Thank you for the creative pause! Eileen

  2. I just love this poem! You really nail it again, Cyn! Your sharp observer self that shines the light on what you notice and make it an offering for the rest of us. What you describe here is so true! and yet, who dares say this, tell the truth. Reminds me of a poem by Naomi Shiab Nye, do you know the one I mean?

    • I’m not sure which of Naomi’ s poems you’re thinking about, Julie…..there’s a bus ride in the one entitled “Kindness”, I think. I’m glad you like this one! Thank you so much for reading, and for saying so!

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