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You can angrily glare all you want —
Or give me the finger, if your’e inclined —
Unless, of course, you have better sense. Don’t
Want to offend you here. Truly my mind
AGONIZES over safety. THIS road’s
Not a good place for impatient high speed.
There now: you can relax until we’ve slowed
To the posted speed limit. There’s no need,
Obviously, to rush! LIFE SHOULD BE FUN!
See my new hair? You really ought to see
Each neon-bright strand shining in the sun!
Everyone LOVES it! Especially me!
I hope you get a good look as you pass —
THAT’S SO FUN!! — before you pour on the gas.

by GwennonR
September 4, 2015

This poem wrote itself in 15 minutes in my driveway (my fastest acrostic sonnet to date!) after I came home, having again having had to travel through road construction. Just weeks ago, I got a ticket while driving too fast in the construction zone, and promised myself I wouldn’t earn myself another one, regardless of the impatience of other drivers. Another huge consideration was the many construction workers who were working just a foot or two away from the traffic rushing by them. The slower speed limit was, obviously, to protect all of them. On that particular part of the highway, the road narrows to a single lane, which I led, while the driver behind me tried to push me forward. I held my speed steady because my dad was constantly telling me growing up, “If you are going to be rear-ended, it is so much safer to be hit from behind going a slower speed than a higher one: slow down as much as you can before the moment of impact.” I have never forgotten those words. And somehow, the car behind me managed not to hit me after all. They did, however, fly past as soon as the road widened. As they passed me, i found myself saying, “I have a purple streak in my hair — you wanna see it?” as I carefully lifted and separated the neon strands through my fingers. Not sure if they were paying attention. But their impatience was not my problem. They should have left home 30 minutes earlier, AND the hospital was in the opposite direction of where we were headed. Sigh. Bad drivers. Can’t avoid ’em, and can’t change ’em. Sigh! I know that being human we are all someone else’s bad driver at times, but I so try not to be that to others and to give them the space and courtesy I wish more of them would give to me. I guess I am wishing for heaven before I actually get there.

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