THE RED LIGHT

The billboard signs are finally changing
There is a man up a telephone post looking for some wire
Everything else is just the same
The birds defying gravity
The little girl selling roses at the corner of the street
The traffic light shines red to my eyes and everybody else’s around me
Red says stop. I learned that in kindergarten
I also learned that res is underneath my skin
When I scraped my knee on the playground
I started crying and saw red on my knee
But I didn’t stop till my teacher washed the wound
And stuck a sticky bandaid with red cars on it.
Yes, red.
That’s when I learned things sometimes have two meanings, two, maybe more.
Like in that bus ride to work, the people around me
Some were coming from work, some going from work
Some didn’t have work, some didn’t have homes
But there we were in a bus, under birds defying gravity
Stuck with the red traffic light
Everybody had their stories
Not all of them were neatly scribbled onto empty pages
Or hidden in the eyes of the painting of a woman
Or maybe inbetween the man tickling music onto his piano
Some of them traced stories on their clothes
The missing button, cause he didn’t notice it fall off this morning
The ironed pants, cause she wants to make a good impression
The worn out shoe cause that was his favirote pair
Some stories trickled onto bodies
The man with the tattoo of the sunrise on the back of his.neck
The woman who’s hair is tended with fresh jasmine flowers
Or the boy fumbling his pocket for some change
Only to realize there is hole in his pocket and his change is lying 5minutes back, two bustops behind
Yes, all these people have stories
And not all of them are heard
Not even to themselves
When they see the color at the traffic signal
They do not stop
Its only the drivers pushing their left foot onto break pedals
But even he does not stop
He’s still thinking about where the next turning is
And if there will still be traffic like there always is
Or if it will rain today cause he could use a break from the heat
We do not stop, not at traffic lights where red says stop
So I want to paint the palm of my hand red, like that of traffic lights
And wave it between every thought they think
Inbetween every breath
I want to tell them to stop
Tell them its okay to stop
Tell them the little girl down the street just sold a dozen roses
That the billboards had changed their color into red and they haven’t noticed
I want to tell them its okay to stop for a moment
Till the traffic light turns green.

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