Stuck Beside a Crying Woman

You look far behind you, then way up ahead
You really now wish you just stayed home instead.
Bumpers to bumpers, horns heard near and far;
You’re surrounded by buses, and big rigs, and cars.

Aggravated you are, when you just were so happy;
A fine day indeed, so dang quick now turned crappy.
You have much better things that could really use doing;
You have hobbies and chores that entail pursuing.

Of all of the days to get stuck in such messes,
It had to be this one, and it’s giving you stresses.

You watch other drivers, of which there aren’t few;
Some so angry, some pleasant, and all stuck just like you.
Then you notice one woman who brings you perspective;
Your problems and lateness become quickly subjective.

Her hands grip the wheel, her knuckles are white
Tears stream down her cheeks, something extremely not right

And you can only sit there.

And watch.

Until traffic devours her from sight.

You look miles ahead, on this long, messy ride.
There are thousands of cars with humans inside.
You can’t get that woman, or her tears off your mind,
And you can’t shake the awareness you suddenly find…

That these cars aren’t just some moving fat hunks of metal,
There are hearts that control every foot on each pedal.
There are lives that were built ‘round those very same hearts,
And struggles which easily could rise off the charts.

I mean, you don’t know…

The man in that truck might have just lost his sick mother
That woman right there may have betrayed her dear brother
There’s a teenager there, did she just have her first breakup?
The old woman in that one might have applied her last makeup


Out of thousands of cars, there are bound to be
Battles so great, not one of us can see.

One person may be dreading soon getting divorced
Another might be incensed over being sexually forced
Someone may have just done something terribly wrong
Someone else maybe bullied, now pretends that he’s strong

Maybe that woman right there, just fell out with a friend
Maybe another gave into a once-beat addiction
Maybe one driver just came out to his entire family
Maybe another so loathes his addiction to candy

You look all around, at the women and men
At the old and the young, then you look ‘round again.
You’re stuck in traffic, whoopdie-doo.
Others are stuck in situations far worse than you.

A mile behind you, there might be a little white van
With a kid suddenly puking all over his hands
And a mile ahead, there might be another
With an infant now screaming, just wanting her mother

And somewhere now lost in this vast sea of cars
Is a temper that just made someone take things too far
And somewhere there’s someone who’s watching her phone
Just waiting for anything to not feel so alone

And somewhere is someone with precious months left
Since she just got the news cancer spread from her breasts
And somewhere is someone who just got to hear
The very worst news they so greatly have feared

Certainly someone out there is longing to die
With depression so thick, they can’t even cry
Someone else, you must guess, just sits in unrest
As they think of the bills stacking up on their desk

Once again…

You look miles ahead on this long, messy ride.
There are thousands of cars with… humans inside.

And let’s not forget, that somewhere ahead
Someone has crashed, and just might be dead.

Annoyed you just were, when you just had been happy;
A fine day you declared had turned out so dang crappy…
Wasn’t really so bad, in the big scheme of things;
It was perspective that only the crying woman could bring.

What was her battle? What could it possibly have been?
A breakup? An illness? Some bad news? A sin?

There’s no way to know. There’s no way to tell;
We each have those days of such personal hell.

You look miles ahead on this long, messy ride.
You turn on good music, and become more thankful inside.

Your task list can wait; your hobbies can chill.
You got stuck in traffic. Big fucking deal.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
(Based on true events and unexpected perspective in my recent life)