When the World Paused

August 10, 2010
A four-way intersection
on my way to work.

The traffic lights
Every one of them
is red.

The cars come to a stop.
And the man with the
straight back
wearing sunglasses
And his hunched dog
And the woman in the
airy, flowery skirt
And the man in the
gray suit
ironed not by his wife
but by the dry cleaners
come to a stop.

without thought.

I could run
across the street
But then the light
might turn green
and a car might
run me over.

There is no sound,
no movement.

In the middle of
Crystal City,
a city,
everyone waits,
utterly bound to
faulty traffic lights.

No sound.
No movement.

A light turns green
the cars start
And after the cars drive by
we cross the street

Though the crosswalk
traffic light
is still red.

Today, I thought:

What if the world ends one day

not with a blast
and panic
and chaos

but with no one realizing it,
no one fighting it?

Everyone just slowly,
and inevitably

coming to a stop.

Join the Discussion

This article has 13 comments. Post your own now!

OneSeven-billionth said...
today at 6:53 am
mind blown ~pow~
CJwriter said...
Nov. 15, 2016 at 9:15 pm
I meant to say I love it! You are so talented
CJwriter said...
Nov. 15, 2016 at 9:14 pm
To fully understand, you must read it a second time! I love You are so talented!
ItsTimeToBegin This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 23, 2016 at 6:16 pm
This sent shivers down my back when I read it a second time :)
pandachic698 said...
Mar. 2, 2012 at 12:51 pm
Thats really creative, i really like the ending
xximjustmexx said...
Oct. 22, 2011 at 1:07 pm
I always think about things like that. It's nice to know that I''m not the only person that thinks the way I do. You are a very talented writer. Great job:)
TheKayster replied...
Mar. 11, 2012 at 7:20 am
BieberLover16 said...
Oct. 5, 2011 at 11:06 am
Beautifully written :)
Mimi15 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:19 pm
Cute <3
purpleink said...
Jul. 26, 2011 at 4:26 pm
The end makes you think, doesn't it? I love it! Great poem :~)
CoughingColours said...
Apr. 29, 2011 at 10:19 pm

I rlylike the metaphor of it. Truly amazing dear:)


Jesusfollower said...
Feb. 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm
This was amazing! I agree!! I can't believe how many hits your last poem got, but this one? This brilliant thinking? Got one comment... Keep it up! It inspires those of us that look for the hidden talent!
SelahSky said...
Sept. 21, 2010 at 4:44 pm
This is lovely!  It is melancholy in a way that makes me smile and sigh. Keep up the good work!
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