At the square

Random thoughts after being stuck yet again at a traffic jam:

Cars crawl
In rows of two or three
Or snake around in a single thread
The traffic signal is dead,
Its eyes, like black holes,
Stay silent in the deafening cacophony
Of honks, blasts and automobile snores.

The traffic cop stands alone
Like a lonely man on an island;
Directing the ebb and flow,
He strains to play conductor
To a stubbornly offkey score.

Behind the wheel, the actor memorizes
His part for the evening play
While intermittently rechristening our portly director
Standing at the square;
He stares at the sleeping red, amber and green
As if willing them to come alive,
As if his sight could make for an easier drive,
As if it were a scene from his play,
And he could rewrite the script.

Then by some mechanical impulse,
The man glued at the square
Motions the serpentine line to move;
Cars and buses trudge ahead,
Our actor restarts his journey
Drumming away at the wheel
His rhythm moving to the beat
Of the trundling vehicle fleet.


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