A Poem: Maestro

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?


3 thoughts on “A Poem: Maestro

  1. Love it, Steph! Worth thinking about. Life is never dull if you have a heart to see. (I think the pile of cargo a truck dislodged onto the N3 contributed to the confusion this morning, as well.)


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