by John Gardiner

Thank you for not killing me in the metal-grilled cross-hairs
of your monstrous SUV as I crossed the street

cautiously, in full view, in daylight, in the crosswalk
where I thought I had a lawful right to be
and indeed once did in a different, slower world
when I could meander and even take a peek upward
at a trail of pelicans
or outward at a glorious pod of dolphins,
but now I must deal with the likes of you
as you fight for space, wrecking the world
with anger
and the awful weight of your toys.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  John Gardiner, a teacher at the Gifted Students Academy at UC Irvine, lives in Laguna Beach, California.

Editor’s Note: “Crossing the Street in Laguna Beach” by John Gardiner was a winning entry in the recent call for Op-Ed poetry by the Los Angeles Times. Check out more of the winning poems at

Photo: Trail of pelicans