City Trip

Written by: Sandra Adams

Our drive started out like any typical summer trip into Philadelphia. Both buses rolling down the highway loaded with screaming teens, eager to reach their destination in a hurry. Rush-hour traffic was heavy, the white lines hidden beneath watery mirages that lifted only briefly beneath underpasses. The skyscrapers were barely visible through the thick haze of summer's heat. The skyline had the appearance of night and day clashing off in the distance. You could smell the rain approaching.

along city streets
slight breeze carries aroma
food and wet pavement

Once the children were safely inside, the buses continued to 30th street station, the only place the city allows buses to park free. The windows were all still down and the roof hatches open as the skyline grew darker. A light show was off in the distance and approaching quickly. The homeless people were now entering the train station in hopes to stay dry and earn a meal or some quick cash.

almost homeless
young girl wears a sign
on the corner

Inside the train station a young family sits on a bench awaiting the arrival of a family member. The benches line the hallway with vendors tucked in the center isle. We sit across from the young family, facing them as an elderly gentleman approaches them. In his arms he carries a sketchpad and a piece of charcoal. The little boy, probably about 10 years old, has grown tired of sitting by now, and his teenage sitters seem agitated by his silly games, the mother in frustration hands him money for a sketch. 

with quick hands
he carefully sketches
to perfection

The oldest sister now amazed asks for her's as well. The man sketches her picture to a beautiful black and white replica. The mother refuses to spend another dime and sends him away without paying. Behind us sits another elderly man. He seems to be carrying on a very intelligent conversation with himself. This amazes the children for their final hour and fills them with much knowledge as they slide in to listen.

an old man speaks 
as he looks to his right
just his cane sits

The last train has now entered the station and the crowds of people are disappearing outside. The storm has now passed and the sky left a permanent black with the coming of night. We headed outside to the buses to begun our return trip home.

on the street
two yellow  buses
filled with rain