The Neighbor

“Mister Rogers’ shoes” by rxb is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Aired on public TV,
catching many an eye,
he first made his debut
without nonsense or pie.

With a half-hour show
unlike any yet seen,
he’d connect with each child
as if there was no screen.

Though the earliest ones
were in gray, black and white,
his approach to the world
was of color and light.

As he opened the door
and walked in with a song
he would ask us if we
would join in — “Come along…”

From a jacket he’d change
to a soft cardigan
that his mother had knit —
now a Smithsonian.

There was pep in his sneaks
and a calmness of voice
as he shared about things
in which we could rejoice.

But he never would shy
from a troubling motif —
any human ordeal
could be mentioned in brief.

For his calling in life
was to nurture each soul —
nearly nine-hundred times
would he carry this role.

Every “visit” he made
was deliberately planned
to create a safe space
and feed fish from his hand.

That all said, there were times
he would make a mistake,
but he’d keep those in, too,
to avoid feeling fake.

When the trolley rolled by
through a tunnel to leave,
we’d all enter the realm
that he called Make-Believe.

From the polka dot floor
to the castle and tree,
there were plenty of spots
to delight you and me.

We met simple hand puppets
and visiting guests
who, no matter their mood,
would be brought to their best.

There was Daniel and X,
Lady E and the Queen,
each a facet of us
represented and seen.

As for people, how special
when they would come by
to be listened to, fully —
it still makes me cry.

Like the sing-chat with Jeff,
who was bound to a chair,
unrehearsed and a joy —
what a moment of care!

Or the timely dissent
‘gainst the racial divide —
when two different-skinned men
“swam” a pool, side-by-side.

There’s a reason he’s loved
‘round the world, near and far,
‘cuz he taught us it’s great
to be just as we are.

Let’s return to that place
which is wholesome and good,
where the medley of love
grows in his neighborhood.

Dedicated to Mister Rogers,
the real-est of make-believers

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A (com)passionate creative and consultant for visionary organizations. Here to help unify a divided humanity and restore planetary harmony.

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Miles Seiden

A (com)passionate creative and consultant for visionary organizations. Here to help unify a divided humanity and restore planetary harmony.