Traffic Flow

Dermot Bolger

Traffic-flow, traffic stutters, traffic halt:
Stalled faces lit by green light from the dash.

Have I sat here before and experienced this dawn
In some dream or other life, or does my imagination

Confuse it with every other morning of every week?
Taillights flicker across in a landscape of no escape,

Of embankments blocking off new apartment blocks:
I spend more time here than I spend talking to my wife,

I know the faces here better than I know my neighbours:
The stoic Buddhists of the inner lane and the swines

Using the bus lane to cheat their way in, music blaring.
Those of us not yet beyond caring hope they get scurvy,

Haemorrhoids, penile dysfunction, thrush and beriberi:
Hope that the DJ on Spin FM chokes on his Cornflakes,

Hope the traffic will eventually move, hope we finally reach
Wherever we are scurrying to in this slow-motion rush.

Dream that one dawn we’ll step from our car to scale
The daffodil-encrusted bank, ignoring startled horns,

As we shout, amid a skyline of cranes:
Look on me, Lord, not just some motorist

But a soul with free will, on my knees in my shirt sleeves,
Raging against this sense of entrapment with my fists.

Traffic Flow


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