The Number Ten Bus

The Number Ten bus
would take us into Town.
A gang of little urchins
with nothing to do,
on long, hot days
when the dusty streets
of Liverpool offered
only dust for play.

While seagulls watched
with eyebrows raised,
we'd giggle and invade,
The Walker Art Gallery;
running up and down
ornate stairwells
and through
opulent rooms of
chilled Leonardos,
rude Reubens,
and mad Van Goghs.
Saint Sebastian
on the landing, would
grimace down at us,
scruffy urchins,
wincing at his
arrow infested torment.

Then we'd take a ferry
to New Brighton;
sixpence for the trip
across the Mersey.
At the other side, we'd hide
until the ferry turned
and made the journey back
for free.

A bag of chips
would keep us going
as we watched the River
stage its daily show.
Then at the Pier Head,
we'd jump the Number Ten
and twopence
took us home again.

By Kath Dodd