November PAD 9

In Praise of Crossing Guards

Today I sing your praises,
you in your yellow rain slicker
white gloves and reflective tape.
Protect our most precious cargo
from the likes of me—distracted driver,
text-aholic, nine-to-fiver late to work—
on this fogged up, fogged out morning.
Guide us safely across busy streets.
Watch over the boys with their oversized backpacks
and puddle stompers, and girls with their parasols
flipped upside down by a sudden gust.
Hold the line as I hold my daughter’s hand,
wait for a break in the traffic’s pulse.
You stand in the November rain
until every last child reaches the other side.
Keeper of the walk, guard us against the bright eyes of cars
for you volunteer your time so that we may cross
to somewhere else. Look left-right-left,
stop arm held high, you are never rattled
by sudden breaking or the screech of wheels
Protect us from this weathered life.
Remind us daily that when you’re in the community,
you are the community.

(I borrowed the last line from L.S. Thanks!)


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