Woman in a Taxi - Theresah Ennin

Hair covered with an indigo scarf
Face turned out towards the window
Arms clasped around a slender frame
A veritable symbol of “don’t touch me”

Pushed onto the corner as if you’ve been
Flattened onto the door like a slice of tatale [1]
We are the only passengers in the back seat of this taxi cab
What calls your attention so intently, through the window?
Is it the men or women
Moving dexterously peddling their wares among these vehicles?
Or it is the array of flags lining the sidewalks like a mini United Nations?

Or is it me, your fellow passenger
Whose face you don’t want to see
Why don’t you lie back, relax and enjoy the ride
After all, you have paid for it, haven’t you?

[1] Ghanaian finger food shaped like a pancake but made of ripe plantain


Femme Lounge said...

interesting. i likey!

Prince Kwasi Mensah said...

'Woman in a Taxi' seems to be a weave through desire and distance.

The poet, who is a fellow passenger, is astonished, even offended, by the mystery woman's act of seclusion amidst a crowded taxi. The poem delves into the psychology of independence and inter-dependence. We see two women: one is trying to ignore her fellow woman, looking for meanings in the scenes the taxi drives through. The other is trying to network yet to no avail.

'Woman in a taxi' is about life and how all of us choose to be either 'the woman in a taxi' with no connection to those who share the taxi's space with her. Or the poet who is trying to connect with another human being.

Great poetry, Ms. Ennin.

Darko Antwi said...


We would expect that two seemingly related women found in a taxi would be chatty as they traverse. That is very usual. But here we are; having one with 'arms clasped' and 'pushed onto a corner'. The described posture or mood is suggestive of an drama that has transpired before the poets report.

The woman in question could have been jilted by a lover, she could be bereaved, she may have failed a job interview or any other misfortune - but we are not told, and as such can't assume her attitude to be a reaction that reflects an immediate past incident. Unless we match her actions to a form of personality disorder, her sightseeing will remain more puzzling to readers than it is to the speaker (the other woman who, at last, thought she might be the cause:'Or is it me, your fellow passenger whose face you don't want to see)

And as puzzled and provoked as the second woman is, she probes with series of questions, in a bid to know why her pair would turn to the window rather than communicate with her, presumably. She has to be thus concerned because she feels deprived of attention for characters on the roadside: men, women, and even inanimate 'flags'.

Again, what we dont know is; the relationship between the two. Having some knowledge might have helped readers to draw logical conclusions to the lady's recluse. But poetry, very much unlike prose and drama, will not give some details.

By a wild guess, it may be a mother-daughter act, it could be a sister to sister frozen moment, or most probably; a lesbian fued. None could be true, as the poem doesn't give a clue. Yet the unknown is an effective stimulant that Theresah uses to help us concentrate on the cold conflict between the couple.

The creation of windows with scenes of men and women along the taxi route, is powerfully constructive to the image Theresah has brought to surface. It makes the poem very pictorial - just that it's short of colour.

Good one!

Juanita said...

Mrs. Ennin its so true, i remeber me being in such a taxi, a graveyard would be better. Anyways u can't blame her she probably wants to stare at the places going past...sight seeing lol!