Sunday Stew: The Number 7… Got Change?

by Nikkita Oliver

There are things about this city
only the buses know
For the most part they keep her secrets
But the 7 has blown past me
Whispers of past relationships
At first sight lovers that do not exist anymore
Places dined in by only the most seasoned of Seattleites

Her favorite spots are becoming ghosts
Holes in her stockings
Soon only the buses will blow through

Lately she’s been getting all dolled up for new guests
They do not know who she’s been
Just who they want her to be

The 7 has seen the way she turns
Wraps herself ‘round mountain and river
Bends her back over places we used to go
The Silver Fork that garnished her table is stolen
The 7 can’t get full anymore

Rainier Avenue is not the partner she once was
Things are changing
Rapidly riding these new leaf blown opportunities
In the street the smell is getting stronger
Just caught a wiff of another lost prophet

In this place our rubber does not meet the road like it used to
The 7 used to know the children of the children
Till the babies started being pushed out
Farther souf’, they can’t catch up like they used to
So used to being used Seattle does not question her lost innocents

The 7 knows all the casualties
Knows how the route might look the same on paper
but so much has changed

Downtown whistles at buses
stuffed full of suits wearing capitalist dreams
Passerbys, they can’t ID Mount Baker
and Seattle is not the climb she once was

The 7 tells Seattle to slow down
Columbia City is changing speeds
But she keeps spinning her wheels
Tugging at heartstrings
Trying to figure out what happened from
Hillman City to Rainier Beach

Missing the days of riding in packs
How the 7s never come
when they say
But roll by all at once
Just to show you
how many of them there are
Rarely on time
but always something
rare to find when you catch them

The 7 tells Seattle
How you’re changing lanes
Cause we just aren’t the same

Seattle starts to cry
Like she always does
But somehow different

Remembers being told
Change is constant
And God is change

So the 7 remains holy–
Carrying the City’s confessions
farther south
Out farther and farther away
from the city

Nikkita Oliver is a South Seattle based poet, lawyer and community organizer


5 thoughts on “Sunday Stew: The Number 7… Got Change?”

  1. Man the days that was my favorite bus besides the old skool route 42 I love my Columbia city threw out my child hood until my adult life so much has changed