A solitary soldier, casual duty,
busy downtown street corner, holding
sturdy, corrugated weapon-semaphore;
bold, black Magic Marker scrawl, sincere
one-word reminder


He is neatly dressed; though not stylish
suit, tie stylish – earth tones befitting
his lone prop

The man is sixty, maybe seventy –
without the chin stubble, maybe fifty,
or even younger. Maybe not.

Coming to my mandated traffic stop
I watch him as he pivots his sign my way,
he waves, I reciprocate; he is deliberate,
nonchalant, smiling, happy, intent:


Another man pulls up, the lane between me
and the man with the cardboard admonition
the guy in the car cocks his head, puzzled as
the man at the curb waves his way, smiles.

As the light turns green, the guy turns back,
gives his car a jolt of gas then thinks better of it;
stops quickly, car jerks; he glances back toward
reminder man, briskly flipping him a quick,
one fingered salute, squeals rubber through
the intersection, and is gone – leaving the man
with the sign, smiling – his point gracefully taken.

Repent, says the cardboard.

I wave again to the man with the sign, smile.
He smiles back broadly, waves as I drive off


Somebody has to do it.


4 thoughts on “Stoplight

  1. Lillian Iverson January 21, 2010 / 4:22 pm

    Love it!!


  2. Ron January 22, 2010 / 10:47 am

    I like it. It doesn’t have that finished feel to it. I know poetry is never finished but I am sure you know what I mean. I might take out “the cardboard says.” Sorry apparently I felt you needed a critique LOL. Have a great day.


  3. poetluckerate January 22, 2010 / 3:58 pm

    I am always open for a critique or two, Ron…you should know THAT! Especially when they are as on target as this one. Keep chimin’ in, good buddy.


  4. Craig February 4, 2010 / 7:32 am

    I’m still trying to figure out when I ever “pented” to begin with! Nevermind RE. A similar dilemma exists with the word, “Recreation.” It seems logical to me that before one can recreate, they have had to have created something to begin with!

    Perhaps that is why I am repenting. Never having actually been a Creator myself, I have no right to recreation.


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