Written by Dania Akkawi 

“Here we are, stuck in traffic…”

“They don’t respond to the sound of an ambulance”

The minutes pass
and feel like a century.

It’s dark at midday,
almost silent at rush hour.

The siren reaches all directions;
too loud to remain unseen.
The piercing sound of distress,
and it’s echoing blue and red lights
shower the crowded streets
demanding attention.

It holds the story of someone’s life,
at a standstill in the traffic,
at a standstill in the world.

The ambulance driver rolls open his window
and shouts,

Maybe someone might respond,
maybe someone kind enough,
might move over;
someone not yet taught to doubt the sound of death.

But the neighbor cars
roll up their windows,
and turn on the music
to avoid the noise of the traffic.

The crowds no longer flinch.

But here is the couple giggling over the red roses,
the mother scolding her child in the backseat,
and the young man who learned to drive
snapping pictures of his steering wheel.

Here we are,
stuck in traffic,
watching a story
of an ending we will never know,
the sound fading
almost blending
into the radio.