The Last Bus by Phil McNulty

The top deck of the number three.
Last bus on a Friday night.
Girls all 15 and 16,
Hysterical on Cherry B and Cider.
Everyone smoking.
Always a fight,
With lads looking for reputation,
After beer.
You could pitch in,                                                                                                        
Pull them apart.
Not hard to be a hero,
When everyone's drunk,
Scared to get hurt,
And fights only start
To be stopped.
The girls loved it.
Joined in the Pantomime
of cursing and abuse.
Apart from Carol.
There, in the corner of the back seat,
On her own.
Cradling a cigarette.
She was different.
White-blonde hair, leather jacket,
Bitten nails.
Bare, grazed, knees on the chrome back bar
Of the seat in front.
The others kept their distance.
Knowing that Carol
Had once been swapped
For a Triumph exhaust pipe.