I'm being slowly cooked in this sardine tin on wheels,
The sweltering heat outside matched by the humid heat inside,
An exoskeleton forms as grime settles on my clammy hide
The seats are so closely packed,
My knees almost touch my chest,
Surely, this must be the Purgatory,
It’s anguish without respite.
A slobbering drunk tries to fall asleep on my shoulders,
The stench from his mouth forming an unholy fusion
With the nauseating odor of boiled egg and pepper being eaten behind me,
A phone rings a little too loudly a little too long,
Startling a baby and who joins in its vexing song,
The sting of cheap cologne brings tears to my eyes,
My senses scream from the surplus stimuli,
The drunk starts to snore; loudly.
In one sublime move, the driver violates 4 or 5 traffic regulations,
While lavishing flamboyant insults on other roads users,
I feel my joints popping with vehement protestations,
As the driver makes no attempt to dodge the many potholes,
Potholes artfully arranged not to look artfully arranged,
The constipated traffic extending my torments and woes.
I reach my destination,
My wobbly knees somehow manage to keep me standing.
Torture by Spintex Road trotro ride,
And to think that I’ll have to do it again tomorrow.
*****March 9, 2012*****
Trotro: the cheapest form of public transport in Ghana. Usually an old minibus
(I wrote this poem while in a trotro)