Saturday, March 6, 2010

George, Crossing Guard

You were sometimes slow, George, caught offguard
by my crisp clip as I approached your post

and hit the curb before you could shake out
your slouch and lift your red sign to stop

the traffic's flow. So what? You always had
a quiet word, a smile for my serious

son in his stroller. Though I can't say
I knew you, George--you were one of the many

we all meet fleetingly, albeit daily,
as we hurry on our hustled way, about

whom there is no thing of substance we can say--
it is probable that you were not among

the class this world considers gifted,
that all you did was in the same slow,

ungraceful way, that you made no great
addition to our city's glory.

So what, George? If all you did until the day
your heart caught you offguard and felled you, sure

as would a speeding car, was show up
and do no harm, well sir, that is a lesson

that might give the investment bankers
and plastic surgeons of America

pause, before they step out from the curb.

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