If You Step Upon a Crack

Skipping ahead he avoids cracks

as not to break my mother's back -

head bent low upon his task, his concern dear.


My hand yearns for the warmth of his,

to have him safely by my side -

yet I forgo such a tether,


try banishing the "what if" of terror

that may lurk beneath Manhattan streets,

along well-worn Brooklyn walkways.


Paris is an ocean away, but as we idled

in the quagmire of George Washington Bridge,

"what if" kept taunting


and I could see no way of escape -

certainly not down.  I'm afraid of heights anyway,

so we turned up the music and sang.  Loudly.


The inevitable comes; he steps on a crack -

assures me it's just a game.  Yet, in a heartbeat

I'd gladly sacrifice my back,


to never silence children's voices,

never stifle their dreams, their talents.  I wish

it was as easy as that.


by Margaret Bednar, November 20, 2015

This poem is about: 
My family
My country
Our world


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