Jo Carpignano
2011 National Senior Poet Laureate
Runner-Up
($100)

Jo Carpignano, 83, of San Mateo, is a retired educator/school psychologist who makes her debut as a Senior Poet Laureate with her chilling poem “The Yellow Bus.” She is a member of the California Writers Club, whose anthology Fault Zone published two of her award-winning poems. Besides also winning awards for poetry and prose, her writing credits include Madeline’s Story, self-published book about her mother’s experiences as an Italian immigrant, magazine articles and chapters in professional books. Doctor Carpignano’s sun sign is Aquarius.


THE YELLOW BUS

She rides the yellow bus each week
Goes off to school, comes home again
She hears and sees but cannot speak

The driver is a cunning sneak
Assumes a friendly caring pose
She rides the yellow bus each week

From school one day at traffic’s peak
She is the last to leave the bus
She hears and sees but cannot speak

He stops on some deserted street
Then hurriedly subdues and thrusts
She rides the yellow bus each week

Her pushing, thrashing, much too weak
Mouth opens wide in voiceless scream
She hears and sees but cannot speak

Arrives home late, dress slightly torn
Her mother wonders why so worn
She rides the yellow bus each week
She hears and sees but cannot speak

Jo Carpignano