Suburban traffic jam / Vorstadtstau

Suburban traffic jam

It’s raining, the traffic is creeping,
the morning is seeping away…
The bus windows seem to be weeping
at boundless suburban grey.

Yet should a grenade or a comet
now strike us, as if to sift –
I’d meet my death as a poet,
I’ve smiled and I’ve breathed and I’ve lived!

Christina Egan © 2015


Vorstadtstau

Es regnet… Minuten verrinnen
im Vorstadtstau, Stoßzeitstau…
Die Autobusfenster verschwimmen
im uferlos traurigen Grau.

Und sollte der Tod uns jetzt lichten
– Granate oder Komet –
so hab’ ich gelächelt, gedichtet,
so hab’ ich geatmet, gelebt!

Christina Egan © 2015


These thoughts came to me on a bus near the spot in London where a man was shot dead by gangsters in 2015; no one has been charged with the crime. In 2016, another man was shot dead nearby by police. Later that year, another man was stabbed to death just down the road, near Wood Green Station.

Moreover, many terrorist attacks have happened in Europe, and many more have been prevented in London alone; but more are bound to afflict us.

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The Man is Not in his Seat

The Man is Not in his Seat

The coffee is still on the table,
the table is still in the street,
the seat is still in the corner:
but the man is not in his seat.

Perhaps he has gone to his office,
perhaps he has gone to the park;
perhaps he’ll be back in a minute,
perhaps he’ll be back before dark.

I think he is due in the morning,
I think he is due every day;
I think we have all of us seen him
whenever the bus passed this way.

The coffee dries out on the table,
the table is still in the street,
the seat is still in the corner:
but the man is not in his seat.

A friend may have called at the café
and lead him away with a smile;
or a man in a car brought a message,
so he said: I might be a while.

Or else he will never return here
to raise his glass to the street:
The stranger who passed was an angel
to take him away from his seat.

Christina Egan © 2015

In memoriam Erdogan Güzel
Murdered in the street in Wood Green,
London, England, on 10.7.2015
Requiescat in pace