Our sidewalk buckled from age and weathering,

hazardous for dog walkers on moonless nights.

The city dispatched a backhoe and crew

to hoist away uneven stones,

layer crushed rocks on loose dirt,

and pour on the cement,

safeguarding their work with

yellow ribbons and orange cones.

My seven-year old grandson asked

for caution-tape as a birthday present.

Said, life was tough to room with a big brother

who regularly tossed his stuff.

And if only he could encircle

all his belongings with yellow tape.

That night under the silver moon

a woman holding scissors and dressed in black

sidled to the new sidewalk.

Next morning when the sun peeked out

only the silent cones remained.

Vida Chu grew up in Hong Kong, came to America for college, and now has been in Princeton for more than 50 years. She has published many poems and children’s stories.

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