Blog Festival | Road Toys Speed | by Yinka Owate

road toys speed - elsieisy blog festival

I should look left, right,

And left again?

So we were taught…

Our teachers lied to us

Today, I look right

More than I look left.

And I look back,

Too often than forward.

My head swishes round,

I can’t catch my breath,

I have to run fast;

Even on a zebra crossing,

For the road is not my friend.

It has no control

Over its toys

And I can’t seem to see

Why it still keeps these toys,

For if my toy disobeys me,

I dash it to the trash.

Now I run,

A market woman

Beside me screams, “Ejo o o”

Just to save her dear life.

She also needs to hurry somewhere,

Doesn’t she?

But the figures in these toys

That are luckier than she

Keep hurrying too,

And when the hurrying toys

Crash into a hurrying crosser,

They speed away

And enjoy the road as they please.

So tell me,

Who will pay for the crime?


The crosser lies there,

Flat on the road.

People cry, protest, talk, insult.

Who receives these?

The fellow-protesters.

The toy is far gone,

And can never be tracked down.

This road, this clear view

Thirsts for blood

More often than vampires;

(I have never seen one at least)

This road, keeping track of beautiful cars

And ugly buses

Has no mercy on any of these,

For the road is fairer than judges.

This road does not see your face,

It does not take account

Of your savings and investments,

It does not care if you funded it;

For a fair judge

Sentences her mother for murder;

It takes your blood, whoever you are.

A vampire is friendly to a helper,

But a road?

Not even close.

The only friend

You need to help

Is yourself.

The road is thirsty,

It devours your soul,

Making sacrifice to the mine gods.


Yinka Owate is a final year student of English Literature at Lagos State University. She is a versatile writer who deals with essays, poetry, fiction, drama and screenplays.  She is also an on-air personality at Bluevoiceradio, an online radio station. She engages herself in the performing arts (acting and dance). She hopes to inspire people to pursue their interests, no matter how impossible they may seem. Blog link:

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