Traffic Light Soul

At a traffic light, roadworks,
The jamming pressed their
Collective thumb-horns
For those cars tailed back
From a year before I was born
In scales of a summer storm.

I did not know I’d end up here,
A tear in my eye where
Many lost worlds formed,
Places I’d seen with cathedrals
And parks and riverside scenes,
Caught like a fly in my eyelid.

Someone exited their vehicle
And tapped exasperatedly
At my window. I wound down
The production-line glass
And noticed for the first time
A kitemark for British Standards

Engraved in the corner;
These days, it’s an oxymoron.
I found myself wondering
Whether my soul had already
Dissolved, or whether a steady
Dripping away occurs through

Various stoppers and plugs,
Like prayers, like rosaries,
Dogmas, dharma, traditions.
These days in my country
The scientists have deserted,
Prophets can be purchased.

He was still shouting,
The man in the street
Using expletives.
I wound up the window
And drove away but not before
Drying my eyes, foot on the clutch

Finding first gear,
Revving the engine,
Rain matted hair, lightning beats,
I smiled for the first time
In so many years,
Running over his feet.