Words are Gifts

The Traffic Policeman

One morning this week, at the crossroads on my way to school, where there is always a policeman conducting traffic, there was a mish-mash of cars, doing their own dance. We stood waiting patiently, radio blurting with a cool breeze passing through. We waited.

Until the conductor signaled for our car to stop and give way to the cars coming from the opposite road. The response was quick, but I was more concerned about about what the traffic policeman was clad in. A thick, white, long sleeved jacket and trousers, on this warm and hazy morning. A part of his uniform, was the black helmet-like hat and white gloves.

Why are all these pieces necessary? I guess the different parts of the uniform perform  different functions. He stood out as if he was wearing a neon suit in the dark and his gloves shone too. A couple of cars hooted but he took no notice and turned his back to the cars he had stopped. An expert at his job.

I was thinking about the order there would have been if there were traffic lights placed there instead. I answered my query myself. The new road had only been built or laid a year or so ago and it was not known, maybe not even on the local map yet, so there were only a few cars until word went out about this new construction.

Ahead of us, there was a long train of cars, so I knew we were going to be kept standing for a while longer. Whenever we are kept waiting at the crossroads, I secretly worry. My eyes dart from the small clock in the car to the uniformed traffic policeman, back and forth until…

He beckons for us to move. The relief that comes upon me is welcoming. The car moves slowly and attaches itself to the crawling train of cars. The interesting thing is the long flat road allows you to see many meters head of us. “When are we getting to school?” I ask. I was getting agitated.


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8 responses to “The Traffic Policeman”

  1. It is interesting how, in stressful situations, we notice sharp details, like you did on the policeman’s uniform. I really got the sense of your impatience as you waited. A truly lovely Slice of Life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a snapshot: setting, characters, conflict and thoughtshots, You pulled me into the car with you. This line I like: “The car moves slowly and attaches itself to the crawling train of cars.” It is the perfect description of school traffic. I live two blocks from a middle school.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So relateable, indeed! Traffic slows us down to observe the world around us. Happy slicing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent word choice throughout. I was able to picture every single detail you wrote.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your post felt both foreign and familiar. A real small moment. I enjoyed the description of the uniform and professionalism of the policeman- you wrote with respect. And your feelings of both acceptance, appreciation, and impatience.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh traffic! Thanks for sharing this slice that we can all relate too. I like the way you compared the traffic policeman to a conductor. Perhaps the uniform creates the respect and mood he needs to be an expert at his job. Hope you can stay off the road for a few days.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. J, plenty to love and relate to here. What a great eye for detail you have, and it’ll help me see the traffic officials in a new light!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is my world perfectly described in perfect detail.

    Liked by 1 person

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About Me

I am am Elementary school teacher at an International IB School in Accra, Ghana, West Africa. I write with groups of writers, such as Teach Write.


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