This is a poem. Because it’s broken up into funny lines, I can call it a poem. I didn’t try hard enough for it to be an actual poem. Maybe one day when I have time I will make it a real poem. But it is based on a common occurrence at the main intersection of the town where I live.
Ah, the robot is out again, you say
And you grumble, and tap your fingers on the wheel
and check your watch
and mutter about the government, and service delivery, and Eskom
to your empty car.
But look up, my friend, look up, you’re missing it!
There he stands, the arc of his arms ready to pounce
on the down beat,
then up on the up–
his flapping newspapers abandoned at his feet,
his fingers splayed out wide
stopping traffic with one hand,
with the other setting free a cascade of cars—
now the Honda can right turn,
BMW, wait quietly a moment longer,
Enter the string of minivans,
Hear the rumble of the engines,
Smell the exhaust, and the sun, and the bright morning air–
Ah, it’s a good day to be alive!
and to watch him twirl and turn,
to orchestrate order with such flourishes
and a flash of smile, like it’s easy.
You, with your boring nine-to-five job
in an air-conditioned office with twenty-seven urgent emails,
haven’t you ever thought what joy is there
for the newspaper man when the robot is out?