“In Case Of Emergency”


Inside the building,

signs in English and French

direct me to First Aid stations,

fire extinguishers,



By the boardroom,

bilingual copies of

Evacuation Plan

on display.


In each floor,

emergency exits and

fire safety doors

clearly marked.


English and French.


It’s been a long day.

I’m last to leave.


On my way out,

the cleaners.


They smile, greeting me

in Spanish.


I smile back.


(Editor’s note: poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, writes for Blacklock’s each and every Sunday)

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