Jane Grieve has blundered through this life
From kid, to woman, to dutiful wife
It all began on a dead-flat plain
On the Darling Downs on a farm growing grain;
Where school was a mix of confusion & fun
On a bus route known as the Wainui run.

You knew it was time to plant your wheat
When the Hamiltons did; they didn’t miss a beat.
You could see them through the shimmering haze
That hung above your wilting maize
Their tractor spouting acrid smoke
While we learned to drive our Mini Moke.

Young Des was the love of Janie’s life
While Tina dreamed of being Ray’s wife
And Boocie was brainy as all get up
And Mick was so naughty he never let up
Denise was sweet and good as gold
But Greg knew it all at 10 years old.

Yes Boocie was brainy he always came first
And Scott he knew engines from first to reverse
Those Freshneys were such glamorous girls
It’s a wonder they didn’t turn up in their pearls
While Angus and David, that pair of felons
Didn’t share their watermelons.

It was sad for Neal he lost his leg
But he beat us hands down in a race with Greg
He was deadly abroad on those old tin crutches
He wouldn’t have let them out of his clutches
While Jenny and Tina played girly doll games
And Johnny & me, we called them names.

But on schoolday mornings we got in our blues
We brushed our hair and we polished our shoes
We kissed our mums and left our abodes
And bumped to the gate over blacksoil roads
Where we lined up dutifully to a man
And waited for our pink bus and Stan.

We lined up there with a minimum of fuss
And played while we waited for Stan and the bus
We squabbled about who would be first in the line
Which seat would be yours and which would be mine
We pushed and we shoved but one thing was for sure
When Stan raised his eyebrows we shoved no more.

Stan drove in all weathers – hot and cold
What was strange about Stan – he was always old
He had a small reserve of words
But those rare ones he uttered were always heard.
If you played up on the Wainui bus
Stan would make a terrible fuss.

You knew there was trouble when the brakes were applied
It was usually Mick’s fault but he never cried
A deathly hush would descend on us all
(Except for Mick who was having a ball).
And Stan would open the window a crack
And say “Rardo, rardo, youse up the back!”

© jane grieve