The blue star displayed in a house window means
knock on this door
if you’re chased by a bully
or shadowed from school by a stranger in a car;
someone will answer,
will know what to do;
the world as you’ve felt it will remain so;
But we do forget
even as we pound furiously for help,
or stroll past, imitating, on a plastic recorder,
a mourning dove.
Or living too deep in the back rooms,
out for the day,
we don’t hear.
What was that?
When we answer
and discover that child in the frightened eyes
of a colleague, or our reflection,
we may bid it enter.
Before closing the door behind it, we peer out
for the threat,
for veracity (we’ve been tricked before,
we showing the star).
And there’s our street. There’s a maple leaf, fallen,
wide as a breastplate.