TRAFFIC JAM

I come to a complete halt.
Fifteen mile back-up and hours
in arrears.

Raleigh to Buffalo in eleven and a half,
that was the plan; designated and approved.
A noon departure, destined to render us home
near its midnight counterpart. My heart
wasn’t in for the drive, but I strive to follow
an itinerary that felt hollow and vacant.
Down the on-ramp to the highway,
I stay five mph above the limit making up
minutes; false victory in an age old story.
No glory on a Sunday afternoon. I swoon
as I watch the traffic thicken, and it sickens me
to see red brake lights illuminated,
making me irritated and disgusted.
I trusted my GPS to bring us home,
but I come to a complete halt.
Fifteen mile back-up and hours
in arrears. My greatest of fears
is realized. A desperate maneuver
from the center lane to find an exit.
Closer to “come from” than “near home”
we return to the accommodations to wait
for the early morning “night” to restart our flight
to the promise land and a warm familiar bed.
Can’t wait to rest my head. If I can only keep
my eyes from making me fall asleep.
A change of plans; not in my hands.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012