For good Samaritans everywhere

Flowers and a thank you note

(Unsplash/Towfiqu barbhuiya)

                  Our car stopped dead in the middle
                  of a steep hill with cars charging by
                  up the hill and down. Seven cars
                  stopped, at considerable risk to the
                  occupants, so don't say there are no
                  good Samaritans left. They come
                  in all ages, genders, colors, beliefs.
                  An MIA flag flew from one car, booming
                  music blasted from another.

                  One car passed ours, thought better of it 
                  and slowly backed up to where
                  we sat blocking traffic, waiting for a tow.
                  I got out of the car and walked up 
                  to find two African American women
                  who rolled down their window.

                  I told them to be careful —
                  their tires were scraping the curb.
                 They said God bless you and could they
                 help their sisters, exactly what they said.

                 I said thank you for stopping, a tow is
                 coming. Again, God bless you, and I
                 wish I knew where they worshipped
                 so I could join them because the news
                 from South Carolina that night reported
                 nine people of color were murdered
                 by a young white man they welcomed
                 into their church like good Samaritans.

                 For two who stopped: Please lay this poem
                 for a floral wreath at your welcome door.

                 Many moons later you inspire me still. When I
                 pass by a need, you taught me to back up
                 and offer to help.

                 Maybe the need happened yesterday,
                 maybe years ago.
                 Still the example you gave—

                 Stop. Go back. Offer to help.

                 Each time, I lay a thank-you wreath
                 at your welcome door.   

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