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At the Traffic Light
John Grey


I will not react

like someone who needs

to be some place

five minutes ago.

I'll bite my tongue

and the horn

will do the same.

I will make allowances

for all that is going on in the life

of the back of the head

in the car in front of me.

What if he's just been diagnosed

with fourth stage cancer

or he's lost his job of thirty years

or his wife has left him.

Yes, the light is green

and he hasn't budged

but who'd want to go

in such circumstances.

I will curb my natural

aggressive behavior.

I won't shake my fist

or scream obscenities.

He's a fellow human being

and deserving of my respect.

He did not ask to be the car

ahead of me at this traffic light.

But, if he had,

I would have screamed emphatically


©by John Grey.
Used with the authorís permission.

John Grey is an Australian poet who now lives in Rhode Island. He collects foreign films on DVD, early editions of MAD magazine, and loves travel and The New York Times crossword puzzle. John has recently had work published in New Plains Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review.

Post New Comment:
Lori Levy:
Posted 11/26/2016 02:42 PM
My son needs to read this, well done!
Posted 11/26/2016 11:41 AM
Dear John, I can't speak for anyone else, but this anxious driver NEEDS THIS!! Thank you.
Posted 11/26/2016 08:42 AM
Humor and a nice message. Good combination!
Posted 11/26/2016 07:21 AM
I love the image of a horn biting its tongue . . . and subsequently releasing it.
Posted 11/26/2016 06:09 AM
This poem started my day with a big cheer! It gave me a good laugh. Thank you
Posted 11/26/2016 03:21 AM

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