Philosophical Traffic

Crash, bang, pop!

Midnight gridlock.

Red lights all around.

Horns blaring with the sound of a thousand trumpets.

I sit, wait, and appreciate.


Perspective changes problems into opportunities.

I find inspiration in the small universes that surround me.


A father and daughter sit, side by side.

He talks.

She looks down, her lips pressed hard.

He continues to talk.

She ignores him.


The strangest things happen in cars,

the closed, small spaces that are intimate and inescapable.


Rhythmic drums compete with honking.

Teenage girls screech along to the radio.

Their dancing fogs the glass.


The strangest things happen in cars.

Emotions can be heightened to the extreme, 

or absent altogether.


A woman smokes a cigarette with the windows closed.

Three children sleep, tightly buckled in the backseat.

A stuffed penguin rests in the smallest child’s hands.


The strangest things happen in cars.

They conflate the powerful with the powerless.


An old woman sits stiff in the driver’s seat

as a young man seems to frustratedly yell at her.

He points forcefully at a spot on a map,

nearly tearing the fragile paper.


The strangest things happen in cars.

In a time when we crave control,

we relinquish our fates to another at the wheel.

No longer are we the navigators of our own lives.

Were we ever?


Suddenly, there’s movement.

The universes begin to fly by,

leaving nothing but red traces of light

and the memory of the complexities that lie within them.

Stillness lost it’s hold on time

and the world, yet again, forgot what the word “still” means.


Movement distracts us with the destination,

and prevents us from discovering an appreciation

for all of it, the car, the people, the proximity that hides nothing.

A glimpse into the next car over could reveal the truths of people to you.


this can only happen when you stop.

This poem is about: 
My community
Our world


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