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
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