How often, once you’ve opted for the queue

which looked to be the quickest and the shortest,

does some plonker at the front get grilled for hours

while you’re stuck there, watching others overtake you?

You wonder what’s the wisest thing to do –


to wait and hope your file’s about to move,

that your rivals will go green while you zip by,

or join the back of a line now shuffling forward

which might however halt the moment you’ve

shifted to join it, as though a point to prove?


But you’re also sure whatever you decide

will be the wrong choice – because that’s simply how

things are, at least in your case. So you shrug,

and live with your first call, self-classified

as one who left the other lane untried.

Published in The Haiku Quarterly numbers 51&52,  2019