By Gabrielle Blair
A bunch of wilted carnations lie beside the signpost tied to which, with dark blue ribbon, is a bright bouquet of artificial flowers. This is an intersection I’d normally never notice walking to the store. A small pot of baby red roses is half hidden behind a larger one of orange chrysanthemums. Propped against the flowers, in place of honor, is a pink canvas picture with a big letter ‘B’ painted in yellow. A blue bristol board with damp curling edges is scrawled with childish notes of love. A soft toy completes the still life, reminiscent of the graves of children once seen in a Cree cemetery.
I stoop to read the rain-washed faded notes:
“We will miss you Boris.” Ah! that’s the ‘B’.
“You’re the best”. “You were an awesome person.”
“You always made my day”. “You were so kind.”
“Thanks for always being so cheerful.”
“Thanks for keeping us safe.”
“Thank you for making sure I always cross the road safely.”
“Thanks for saving my life, twice!”
A touching tribute to someone I have never met and never will. Boris, the Crossing-Guard, who safely guided the children each day across this intersection to school. I wondered was he old and bald? Did he learn their names? Taylor, Owen, Cara, Noralli, Juliette, Ester, Amelia, Thomas and more. How sweetly he is remembered by these Grade 2s.
And as I stoop to read their board, other passers-by stop to see what this is all about. We make a little crowd at an intersection that normally goes un-noticed.
A kind of ceremony. And I murmur: Boris! You’ve crossed over but you’re not forgotten.