Bus Girl


Bus Girl: Poems


Gretchen Josephson


ISBN 1-57129-041-9 1997 paper $14.95


Written over the course of several decades, Bus Girl is a thought-provoking, often humorous collection of poems from a woman born with Down syndrome. With passages beginning from early adulthood, we read of Gretchen’s development as she matures from parental dependence toward independence and adult relationships—including a romance and marriage. A self-taught poet, Gretchen’s voice here is both direct and honest, and at times, cutting.  Her experiences working in the Denver Dry Goods retail store as a bus-girl in the tea room form the core of this book: this is her sense of belonging and fitting into a world where she found purpose and success. When the store closes and Gretchen loses her job as bus girl it becomes immediately apparent how a sense of purpose and achievement is critical to us all.  Interspersed throughout the text are short riffs about country music, seaside and camping resorts, family holidays, and relatives.  Bus Girl provides a clear-eye view of what it is to see the world through the lens of a perceptive young woman who, despite her disability, is determined not only to be heard, but ultimately, to prevail.


“Lyrical, poignant and insightful…These verses establish Ms. Josephson, not as a poet

with Down syndrome, but as a poet!”

-Emily Perl Kingsley, editor, Count Me In; writer, Sesame Street

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