‘The Bus Stop of Innumerable Displeasures’- By Piri Eddy

Crust Bucket sits on the bus stop bench under a 10cents sky

fat with impending rain

as wind whips warm with hints of bin juice.

Some kids have knocked over the trash receptacle


Crust Bucket pegs his nose with dirt caked fingers

to avoid the stench.

Miss Down on Her Luck clops like a plastic horse.

Late again,

but so is the bus.

Deep sigh of relief, of exhaustion.

Life =\= the picture books.

A flash

as her mirror

catches the dull light of morning.

Lipstick squiggled across pursed lips.

It’s gone off-road.

Scrub here, rub there.


Miss Down on Her Luck clicks away

her face and spots Crust Bucket

looking like a crumpled bin bag left out in a hurricane.

Crust Bucket scrapes across the seat

to make room.

What. Ah. Gentleman.

Miss Down on Her Luck would rather not,


Another gust of hot stink.

Banana peel? Mouldy sandwich?


Council workers don’t get up before 9am.


Shaggy Dog emerges from the bushes.

Bristled fur smeared with excrement.

Trots like it’s his birthday

to the upturned bin.

Hang Dog, slighter of frame and bow-legged,

scurries close behind.

The pair stick wet noses into wet,

sloppy trash and their hurried gnashing seems

perverse on that dour morning.

Crust Bucket grins that baby grand mouth,

missing a D# and an F.

Miss Down on Her Luck busies herself with an errant thread

on the cuff of her shirt.

To block it all out.

The bus is still


A triumphant woof!

Shaggy Dog has something.

A rat hangs limp from the mutt’s mouth like

a tired, old sock-puppet.

Crust Bucket hoots.

Hang Dog

nips at the loose end of the rat

and then both dogs have it.

Stretch and twist.

Twist and stretch.

Miss Down on Her Luck forgets her errant thread

and watches the scene:

the dogs as they grunt and growl,

Crust Bucket slapping his knee with pleasure,

the upturned bin.

It begins to rain.

And then:

The sock puppet reaches

the absolute limits of stretchability –

tears in two –

squirts blood and guts and stinking juices,

like fat toes through punctured fabric.

A gleeful Crust Bucket.

The dogs lose much of the good stuff.

If they were anything other than dogs,

they might have been more


Miss Down on Her Luck watches those

dogs eating their measly fill.

Legs cock to mark the bin as:

Property of Dog”

before trundling off into the bushes.

Miss Down on Her Luck peers down.

A red splattering of rat on the end of her boot.

Face sags.

Today is

a bad day.

The hot morning rain falls like

piss off a balcony.

Miss Down on Her Luck waits

for a bus that might never come

as Crust Bucket rolls a cigarette

and smokes it to the nub.


Words by Piri Eddy

Photo by David Clarke on Unsplash