Crossing the Street
This morning I was walking down the sidewalk.
As I came to the street corner, I noticed a man
on the opposite side.
He was an older man, wearing a bright
jacket with yellow colour.
As I saw the guide dog and the walking stick
he carried, I realized he was blind.
When the light changed and I walked
toward him he remained still.
I began to worry.
Was something wrong with the dog?
The walk signal was unusual,
not affixed to the light post;
it hung from above, smaller than normal.
Perhaps the dog didn’t recognize it.
When I reached his corner
I realized he was holding a large laminated card
attached to his wrist by a rubber band.
In typed print it read:
I am BLIND and DEAF.
I need your help crossing the street.
I decided to help him. All I could do
was guiding him silently, as best I could.
When we were safely on the far side
of the street, he let my arm go and
said something unintelligible,
sounds not fully formed into words
he could not hear.
I knew he was thanking me.
I could not say what
I wanted back to him.
All day long I have been appreciating
the little tings. The wonderful feeling
when I felt the warm summer sun
in my face. The children's sound coming
from the park. The immense elation
and freedom on this world
full of colour and beauty.
Whatever burdens I have to bear,
I am so very, very fortunate to be here.
..and it had been an honour to help him.