Ghost Bus

May 20, 2014 | David Bendezou

David wrote and performed this piece–the stanzas titled “song” were sung A Capella.  It was inspired by the fact that David used to see the “Ghost Bus” pass through his neighborhood when he was a child.  It was only when he was on the “Ghost Bus” being transported to prison, that he knew the meaning of the vehicle.

One day I believe back like in 1999 (I was eleven then) during the summer time, me and my mother were going to the grocery store, we saw a bus out of nowhere. This bus was like a greyhound bus except this bus was not. Everyone stopped what they were doing and just stared at the bus. The bus had dark tinted windows and it was grey. For some reason everyone knew that that bus didn’t belong there. And as soon as the bus faded away, everyone continued to go as they pleased. But for some reason, that bus haunted me over the years.

This is a story about that bus and many places. Listen . . .



I’ve been gone for so long

That I’ve done forgot my song

I’ve been waiting by the moment

Hoping for everlasting moments

Praying that I never know

But I know I gotta go . . .



On cold summer nights

Lies pot smoking kids

With jump roping scarred limbs

Ghetto lives Blue/Red Bright lights

Everyone takes flight

I and one by one

Everyone disappears about the same time

On cold summer nights.



Where are you taking me?

Where am I going?

Wherever it is I don’t want to go

I said I don’t want to go

Lord please don’t let them take me

Lord please tell somebody that this is wrong

Lord please tell somebody that this is my song.



Year after year that song

Is played along sidewalks

Ballparks and summer thoughts

Year after year gun shots and

Mug shots make my place

Our space a waste

According to constructed stats

And misconstrued facts

Televised on News screens

Seen by privilege who apparently

Don’t want me on their streets

Or do they instead

In some cage behind their rage

In upstate?

I would see this bus again and

Again taking neighbors, friends, thoughts and

Dreams–One by one they would

All disappear somewhere faraway from here.

Somehow I could hear it cry:



Please don’t take me

Please don’t go away

Give me one more chance

To dance

Please don’t let me leave

Let me go free

Let me sing my song

And let me go on.

Let me ride my life into the river

Don’t let me die bitter

I don’t want to go to grow old

And die in the cold.



This bus still goes through

My place today . . .

Where kids play

And disappear late.

This bus still goes through my place today

Where mothers grow to cry

And fathers come to die.

This bus still goes through my place today

Where Moses walks

Jesus Speaks and Mohamed sees. 


Do you remember when I was young?

How I would love to play on cold summer nights and have fun.

Do you remember me

Do you remember

When I used to run wild?

Please Don’t forget my style

Please remember my laugh-

Please Remember my Past

Remember Me in December

Remember me in forever

Oh, Lord, please remember me.


In 2008 I was on that bus looking out at my old neighborhood, heading to Auburn Correctional facility. That bus was the D.O.C. state bus that transfers humans from downstate to upstate similar to slave ships from east state to west state.