Crosswalks don't have word-signs
anymore—something about illiteracy
and more and more people who come
here unable to read or speak English
like most of us who've been
here too long.
If you don't understand "Don't Walk"
you'll understand this:
a red hand appears,
flashes three times
freezes in mid air just before
cars whiz by like flies
after a cow in the country.
When it's time to leave the curb,
a naked white man makes the hand
disappear, like Indians in America-
appears to walk fast like time,
lets everyone know
who's in charge.