Stuck in Traffic Beyond the Panorama January 15, 2022

Stuck in Traffic

Written by Nandini Sethi

Stuck in traffic, 

Eyes boring into the static radio set,

Hoping for something – anything,

I just didn’t know what. 

The lights were gleaming, 

Crimson. Flicker. Bright Red. 

And the pestering clicks of the wiper

Soon came to be the tune stuck in my head. 

I did my best to get out of work in a hurry,

To my plush couch and last night’s dinner,

But the bald, middle-aged man typing away on his computer opened my eyes 

To a life I wouldn’t know I had otherwise. 

He did everything slowly, 

As if he never wanted to complete his work, 

Unopened files, unfinished meals, and unorganized task lists. 

I couldn’t help but ask him, “do you not want to go back home?”
He laughed and shook his head, “I have no one to go home to.” 

I patted his shoulder and walked away,

Not realizing the magnitude of his words.

Until now, as I tap my feet to the rhythm of the windshield wiper, 

Wondering who I was going home for –

The palpable couch or a warm dinner,

A blaring TV, notes of which amalgamated with the screams of crying children, 

Who in the bigger scheme of things, 

Couldn’t be happier;

Tables upturned, sheets undone, and chaos everywhere. 

I was going home to a sight, 

A painting, 

Made not by the warm, expensive couch I loved,

But by the people by whom I was loved. 

Nandini Sethi
Nandini Sethi

Sometimes dolefully insightful, sometimes plain distressed state of mind, but always love. I think there’s a bit of love in everything we write.

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