|The Emotional Tollbooth
November 18, 2021
Pity you behind me at the emotional tollbooth,
Sighing as I pick through wooden nickels,
Foreign currency and arcade coins.
I labor to figure out the rates
For navigating the roads I've driven,
Winding, demanding, trying,
Blind spots hidden in long stretches
Of tedium, traps and detours,
Miles of endless stop and go,
Windows rolled up but no end
To the exhaust of my fellow travelers.
There's no clerk to take my fare,
Whatever it calculates to.
An egghead shinier than mine
Can probably call the total.
I see the gestures you exaggerate:
I guess you've been down this road
Before me as you pile up behind me,
Horns blaring, lights flashing
Waiting to see if I end up crashing
Through the gate and into the night.
Whatever I drop into that basket
Merely will set off bells and whistles,
So I hold it back in my clenched hands.
Certainly the cameras along the way
Captured what I most need to know,
The emergency stops and stays
Making a difference in my sum,
Not sure how the weight in the back
Was captured at the strained scales.
Someone just tell me what to give up,
What I need to complete the sale.