On My Way Back

from the pharmacy
with my chest complaint
and my bag of medication
I’m walking past
a multicultural traffic-jam

I can’t hold my breath
long enough not to inhale
exhaust fumes looped
across the road
like webs in the air

so it’s hard to both
gasp and enjoy
the multiculturalism
of music fist-pumping the air
from wound-down windows;

to pass the idling time
while going nowhere
drivers with one arm out
slapping their doors
aim bored stares at me

to make me self-conscious
so I might trip in slow-motion
on the unrepaired pavement
and then they’d laugh
a mocking multicultural laugh

I pass the old speckled woman
sun-drying at number 121
on a rain-stained sofa
that sets off her front garden 
weeds salient fumes rampant

she’s doing her diurnal sit
muttering her marbled beads
as usual begging Allah
to pull his finger out and
do what she asked for yesterday






© Nemo 2023
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Some very good observations here and I feel you managed to convey both the diversity and the similarity that all people share in common. I particularly liked your description of
“exhaust fumes looped
across the road
like webs in the air”
And your final verse.



I think you have managed that and then some, Gerald. Have a good weekend.

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