Traffic flow

On the way home, stopped in torrential rain,
A taxi with a welded back window cuts the line of waiting cars,
Sidles up, scooches in alongside me.
For liability reasons, the driver makes sure to ignore his mirrors.
I inch forward in the rising brown water – nonchalant.
No one likes a line cutter.
Out the other window, children dance in flimsy plastic ponchos,
Cheer as they run up the newborn river,
Jumping over the the crests and eddies of the broken street
Arms flailing, legs at odd angles,
Kicking against the rapid flow that slaps up against parked cars.
I smile, missing the fun of rain boots.
There was a time I jumped in puddles, and waded through streams.
Water was an adventure.
When it flowed it moved the world around me,
And I moved it when it sat still, sending up sprays as high as my head.
I danced like these children.
Turning back, I face the side of a welded taxi window.
A lazy hand emerges, gesturing with his palm down –
A mix of rote thankfulness and rude caution.
The taxi joins the slow flow of traffic, gaining his car length.
The children go stomping against the current.
I dream of being wild again.

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