Out on the prairie so wide

The school buses wending their way

From the towns they travel

For miles on the gravel

An hour before it is day.

And the winter wind blows

Cross the corn stubble rows

Where the dirt has turned the snow gray

And the children walk down to the road

From the farmhouses' warm kitchen glow

Stand waiting and yearning

To see the bus turning

And the sweep of the headlights' glow

And they climb up inside

And away they all ride

Past the farms and the fields full of snow

They were brought up to faithfully go

Although the weather's severe

Without complaining

Snowing or raining

But come to school in good cheer

And take your seat

Though there isn't much heat

On the coldest day of the year

And they think about math as they go

And the chemistry of atmosphere

And unequal equations

And French conjugations

And the sonnets of William Shakespeare

And then up the drive

At the school they arrive

On the darkest day of the year

And off in New York and Rome

China, L.A., Tokyo,

Live women and men

Whose journeys began

In this schoolroom long long ago

Who sat at this desk

And took this same test

And knew the same things you know.

The men on the 45th floor

They once were bus children too

And stood on the sidewalks

Or by the mailbox

In the dark as the cold winds blew

They stood here and shivered

And then were delivered

And the same dears will happen to you

And in due course you will fly

Away, young women and men

With mixed emotions

Cross mountains and oceans

And become what we could not have been.

We will tenderly kiss you

Goodbye and miss you

And never will see you again.