wait for light

by William Hunter Maxwell

Image: Newark Story

At Market and Broad I stood one day;
Market Street traffic was on its way.
I looked to the left; I looked to the right;
I looked at the warning—“Wait for Light.”
There it was—planted in the street;
Letters white and tall at pedestrians’ feet.
“Wait for Light”—in the asphalt there,
A traffic caution of wisdom rare.
I thought to myself as the phrase I read,
“Wait for Light”—means use your head.
And again I thought, at the green Light’s nod,
“Wait for Light”—means wait for God.
When the road is rocky and the way is dark,
’Tis then we crave the tiniest spark.
And time and again, if we’d “Wait for Light,”
The Invisible Hand would lead us aright.

“Wait for Light” was featured in the December 9, 1944, installment of “Evenings Out” by Maxwell’s colleague at the Star-Ledger, longtime columnist Jerry Nusbaum. The following week the Director of Public Safety, John B. Keenan, personally read the poem into the records of the Newark City Commission.

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