A Poem: “Law And Order”


Slowing down

for a red light

in a city intersection.


Cars in front of me.


The sign on my left says,

“Panhandling Not Permitted”.


In English and French.

And in picture.


The man at the corner

starts his routine.


He holds a white Styrofoam cup,

making eye contact with

unsuspecting drivers.


I see one rolling down his window,

stretching his arm.

The man stops, nods,

then continues.


Cars behind me.

Too late to leave my spot.


I focus on the red light.


The man is by my window.

Looking at me.


Time to call Crime Stoppers.


(Editor’s note: poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday)

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