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Around 1997, I was taking the Citizens Area Transit (or "CAT") buses to my work in downtown Las Vegas on a daily basis. I don't pretend this is great poetry, but I did have fun writing it, and pass it on in case you might have had your own such moments you can relate to.


I watched the moon go down in pieces this morning.
  I mean, in isolated moments.
First, it startled me
   Full and bright against an already opalescent sky
   Framed by the trees that line the first cross street
   Along my short path to the bus stop
   As I glanced west to watch for traffic.
There it was, unexpected, sudden,
   Imminent as a locomotive's headlight.
My heart leaped before the scene resolved
   Itself into some kind of calm reality:
The full moon far
   But huge, hovering,
   A focused orb
   Above mountains minimized by nearer scenery
   And not yet touched by sun.
I turned the other way, toward the street, Decatur,
   And walked and turned that corner too
   By guardian palms
   To where the bus stop huddles
A bench beneath a wall
   Sheltered under branches bearing leaves
   And sometimes bird call—
   Certainly the bench bears their insignia
   As well as a seat-back promoting some casino.
I stand to wait
   Still thrilled, alive with wonder
   No one to share it with—
Certainly not the dour lady
   Wrapped in dark with hostile eyes
   Who shares my waiting
Nor the young Spanish fellow
   Reserved in his own morning thoughts
   Who arrives just before the bus.
I resolve to tell Joy-Lynd when I see her next.
   Then shrug a little, knowing by the time I do
   The thrill of sharing will have lost its flavor,
   The moment gone.
Indeed, that moment dwindles as the bus
   Loaded with aliens: children
   Bound for schools along the way
   Rumbles down Decatur.
Crossing above the freeway
   I glimpse the moon once more
   Distinctly closer to the mountains' edges
   Now lighter, fading in the new-rising sun
   Melding into the day as other matters frame the world.
After the bus takes its Meadows Mall digression
   The moon is gone
   Set into oblivion for another time.
We know it will rise again, soon after sunset,
   But we know it with the kind of faith
   That makes clocks run.
And the bus rumbles on
   To its own rendezvous
   With the patterned schedules of the daily grind.
As the bus jostles down Decatur
   And later, waiting for its sister at the Charleston stop,
I scribble notes in hopes
   That I may later recapture some of that moment
For you.
     Ross Chamberlain—10/16/97 and 12/27/97

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