Car traffic jam
Driving Test
by Vincent Van Ross

My driving lessons began
In an isolated park
Where there were
Fewer chances
Of my banging
Into someone or something

Once there
I got into the driver’s seat
And, my friend sat
Next to me
Then, I pulled out the ignition key
And, started the car

I was asked
To press the clutch
And the brake
With my feet
And, then,
Engage the gear

I engaged the gear
But my friend yelled
Stop, that’s gear number three
So, I returned to neutral
And then engaged
Gear number one

Then, I released
The brake
And stepped
On the accelerator
The car started with a jerk
And, stopped the very next moment

“Take it easy,” advised my friend
Soon after I started the car,
I was heading for a rock
In the middle of the park
“Stop!” he cried as I was about to ram into it
I literally stood on the brake to bring it to a halt

After a while
My friend told me
That I should learn
To use the steering wheel
And before I knew what was happening,
I was going round in circles

It was fun
And, I got a hang of it
Within a week I was ready
To venture out
Of the park
And into the streets

All the learners in the park
Used the road around it
To fine-tune their driving skills
And, the moment a driver saw
A car behind him, he would speed up
For fear of being rammed from behind

Once I learnt my ropes
And found my bearings
I even took
The driving test
And obtained
A driving license

But, to this day
Every time I drive my car
Into the mean streets
In the middle of heavy traffic
I always get the feeling
That I am still taking a driving test

© Vincent Van Ross

IMAGE: “Traffic Jam” by robodread, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This is an original poem composed exclusively to the Silver Birch Press prompt. This is how I learnt how to drive a car!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Vincent Van Ross is a journalist and writer based at New Delhi in India. He writes on national and international politics, defence, environment, travel, and scores of other topics. Besides this, he dabbles in poetry, fiction and nonfictional writing. His articles and features have appeared in over a dozen newspapers and magazines in India. He is also a renowned creative photographer and an art critic.