The Joyful Boy

I’m the Crossing Guard, with a pudgy day-glo vest
and a loud red sign that shouts at cars to STOP,

and he’s a ten-year-old with buzz-cut sandy hair
below a flower-spotted Christopher Robin umbrella

who ambles down the road for half an easy mile
to where I’m standing waiting at the crosswalk

in my drift of alder leaves and slow November rain,
filled with everybody’s somber autumn certainties;

but he’s looking at the trees, and the streaming hills,
and the rain-slick stretch of asphalt, and the school,

and he’s smiling with that easy inward-outward 
smile that our children never smile anymore,

and I’m so surprised I say to him, “You’re joyful!”
and he thinks, and says, “I am,” and smiles at me,

and then we cross the road. He starts up the hill,
still ambling that amble children have forgotten,

and then he stops and says to me, says just to me,
“And I’ll be here tomorrow, too.” And I know he will.

-- Bill Noble
fruit of union

an unseen mesh holds us together.
of this we are aware at various times to varying degrees.
when we are: our hearts open:

mothers nursing babies; fathers lifting children;
lovers in arms; mentors with protégés;
teammates on the field; citizens proactive;
peacemakers taking on the suffering of others;
nurses on the ward; cooks prepping;
novelers novelling; scientists observing;
astronauts and cosmonauts in orbit;
children playing; musicians and instruments;
actors and audiences; readers and authors;
intellectuals in study; gardeners reaping;
teachers and students; divers over a reef;
connoisseurs musing; artists before canvas palettes in hand;
birdwatchers in the blind; mountain climbers at the peak;
poets wordsmithing; skydivers in free fall;
sages being; grandparents spoiling;
meditators sitting.

on that unseen mesh (like the hands of god)
beyond molecules and physics
within the fabric of nature
on the platform of life
at the intersection of souls
love-sparks fly.

love is the fruit of union
-- James Phoenix