The Bumper-to-Bumper Blues

Wayne Michael DeHart  (March, 1997)

Out of the office, into my car;
four miles from home, not very far.
At the turn of the key, the engine’s alive;
the clock lights up, it reads 5:05.
Into reverse, backing out of my space;
workday is done, getting out of this place.
Then into drive, and I’m on my way;
music is playing, it’s the 1st of May.
Now that it’s over,  I can finally relax;
I made it through, without getting the axe.
The sun is shining, and the sky is blue;
payday’s tomorrow, too good to be true.

Out of the parking lot, onto the street;
can’t wait to get there, can’t wait to eat.
Maybe a chili dog, and a bottle of brew;
a bag of chips, and a doughnut or two.
Not really healthy, but it is what I like;
and I’ll burn it off, with a ride on my bike.
(Soon to be home, in my own little heaven;
three miles to go, clock sits at 5:07.)
Maybe I’ll read, or write a long letter;
watch some TV, that might be better.
Perhaps solitaire, or lift a few weights;
or call up some ladies, and plead for some dates.

Work was a hassle, but now I’m released;
my nerves are relaxed, my panic has ceased.
Soon I’ll arrive, at my castle for one;
the suit will come off, the tie be undone.
(Car’s running smooth , oil pressure’s fine;
two miles to go, clock reads 5:09.)
On my way home, feeling elated;
glad that’s not me, with that tire deflated.
Poor guy is sweating, and looking so down;
I’ve been in his shoes, and I know that frown.
But today is today, and I’m sailing along;
the wind’s at my back, and nothing is wrong.

So good to be free, from the boss and his stare;
from the inbox that’s full, from the outbox that’s bare.
From the fax that screams, from the phone that shrieks;
from the desk that wobbles, from the chair that squeaks.
I’ll find another job, I vowed that today;
a perfect position, with much higher pay.
(My tires are hummin’, my engine’s a-revvin’;
just one mile to go, clock beams 5:11.)
Then reality strikes, and I daydream no more;
a new job’s unlikely, no change is in store.
So each time I leave, each time I arrive;
I remind myself, “well, it IS a short drive!”

Hey, why all those brake lights, appearing ahead;
so many, so quickly, so bright and so red?
They dazzle my eyes, they blind me so fast;
my senses are numb, my mind is aghast.
An accident maybe, or a stalled truck;
darn this route home, my life and my luck.
I almost made it, without a hitch or a glitch;
but now I’m stuck, and starting to twitch.
I’ll have to stay calm, blood pressure’s too high;
a mind trip to Europe, eyes closed I’ll just fly.
And I’ll pretend I’m in Paris or Rome;
curses to gridlock, when I’m so close to home.