Poems by Direct Care Workers: A pretty good field trip

David Moreau

Ellie and I take Donnie, Leo, Noelle and Roland

to the college for the noon day concert.

We get there early and walk around the pond

and the ducks swim toward us looking for bread.

All we give them is a song, The one little duck

with the feather on his back, he led the others

with a quack, quack, quack.

There’s a group coming from the other direction

and they’re like a mirror image of  us –

a friendly young man with downs syndrome

high fives Donnie, two staff push people

in wheelchairs, an elderly man shuffles and repeats,

Warm, warm, and a tiny woman holding up a yellow purse

beams, I got it at the Christmas Tree Shop.

The staff don’t shout, remember circles,

but greet us with where you from?

And  beautiful day, eh? Everyone gets to talk

and I don’t hear anyone telling anyone else

what’s appropriate and what’s not.

After a couple of minutes we negotiate four people

in wheelchairs passing on the sidewalk, wave

and say, see ya.

Donnie starts walking off with a college girl

and I jump and steer him away with a joke

about her being too young for him,

and during the concert Noelle does her noise

with her lips, BBBppp… every time there’s a quiet

part in the piano concerto.  But all in all,

it’s a pretty good field trip.