Throughout the ages, poets have drawn inspiration from myriad muses, from nature to love to the divine. George Horne added the school bus to that list.
Horne, a pupil transportation consultant who began his career as an English teacher, has published his own collections of poems about the yellow bus world and the people who inhabit it. To wit, he even penned a series of limericks about the Southeastern States Pupil Transportation Conference.
Horne’s creative works have touched on both the comical and the serious sides of school transportation. In his anthology Black and Yellow is Our World, originally printed in 2012, he covers such topics as the important work of the school bus driver, the educational robot Buster the School Bus, federal motor vehicle safety standards, and a school bus unloading fatality.
Another subject that Horne set to verse is transporting students with disabilities. With his permission, we reprint his 1993 poem on that topic here.
The Special Point of View
By George Horne
It’s start-up time on Number 2.
I take my seat and pray,
“Lord help us meet each challenge
That confronts us on this day.”
I’m a special bus attendant,
The other member of our crew.
Our success we can attribute
To our special point of view.
My driver, Gus … perhaps the best …
A gentle man, but firm.
The kids all like his curly hair
And tease about his “perm.”
I’ve never heard him raise his voice
Or threaten any child.
He appears to know just what they need.
Gus always wears a smile.
If today is like the ones before,
We’ll have a happy ride.
At first, it may just start off rough,
But time is on our side.
It seems the motion of the bus
Helps calm the upset child —
Even those who, when they come aboard,
Are little short of wild.
For instance, Nan: She’ll kick and cry
When Mother brings her out;
But I’ll just smile and take her hand
And turn her mood about.
Michelle will chew her fingers,
Rocking quietly to and fro,
While staring out the window.
What she thinks, I’ll never know.
Tyronne will wheel himself outside
And pull up to the lift.
His smile and disposition
Must be God’s offsetting gift!
Shaleeta cannot hear a word.
Her wit is quick and dry.
I marvel at her signing skills.
My, how her words can fly!
My good pal Tim is such a kick!
He’s jolly; never shy.
I’ve never heard him question
Lack of sight in either eye.
A fiery, dark-eyed beauty
Who loves to tease and play,
Tanya had another seizure
On the bus just yesterday.
And then there’s Brad, in braces
Shuffling slowly toward the bus.
No help he needs to make the climb.
Just patience from me and Gus.
What special grace these kids received!
Called “special,” yes, they are.
But just as every other child,
They twinkle like a star.
Our students all are such a joy.
Each has a different place
In mine and in the heart of Gus.
They know! It’s in each face.
Of course, Horne’s writing hasn’t been limited to rhyme and meter. He has authored numerous articles for School Bus Fleet, including a February 2016 feature on ”How to Spice Up Your School Bus Driver Training Menu.”