Crossing guard an important position

Dortha Jackson


Isn’t it funny that we don’t give much thought to those who give of their time to make our school zones safe? Yet, so much rests on the decisions they make and their ability to react quickly to a dangerous situation. Parents might be thinking about getting to work on time or the busy day ahead. Students may be preoccupied with homework assignments or if everyone will like what they are wearing or how their hair looks. I find it puzzling why we don’t place more prominence on such an important position, but in the rush of the moment, we usually do not give much consideration to the person directing traffic.
When my son was in middle school (several years ago), there was an older man that would volunteer each morning and afternoon to assure the children’s safety in crossing the street. He was a friendly sort of guy who got to know the parents and the parents got to know him. After my son had been in that school for about two and a half years, the man fell ill and was no longer able to stand at the school’s entrance and greet the cars as they would arrive and bid them farewell as they would leave. I was so touched by the warmth of his giving nature that it inspired me to write this poem. I would like to share it with you now. It is in honor of those who give of their time to assure a safe environment in the drop-off and pick-up zones of our schools. A sincere thank you, crosswalk guards!

A Smile And A Wave
An Ode to a
Crosswalk Guard
“Hello, Hello!” The day begins
With the hustle and bustle each morning transcends.
No matter the elements, they all you must brave.
Still we are greeted with kindness- a smile and a wave.
Shuffling lunch boxes, papers, pencils, and pens,
Cars speeding through crosswalks make no amends.
Jacket half off, fumbling backpack and books,
A child races the bell but never looks.
You jump to the rescue armed with sign in hand.
“Stop” it reads. All pause to that command.
With a sigh of relief, we watch from our seat
Children scrambling to school, teachers and friends to meet.
Parents applaud you with esteemed appreciation
As you lead their children safely to their learned destination.
When we dare to glance back to that crosswalk intersection,
You leave us all an impressionable reflection.
With a mission to accomplish and the day to save,
You give one last present- a smile and a wave.

Dortha Jackson grew up in the Diboll/Lufkin area and has recently returned with her husband, Steve, and their dog, Bear. She spent the last thirty years as a music teacher and church musician in Laredo.