By Kelly Miller

May 8, 2017


Waiting at a red light after dropping off videos. I’ve nosed my car onto the crosswalk, hoping it will trigger the light to change more quickly.

I see a woman pushing a stroller down the sidewalk. She presses a fat silver button to stack the odds in her favor. I back up, offer a safe space.

She realizes she has the right of way and hurries across. Talking to her little girl. Managing plastic grocery bags that dangle from the stroller’s arms. The multicolored pack on her back looks heavy. Her blue head scarf might be a hijab. Their brown eyes and olive skin. Maybe they are Muslim.

I’m happy I moved out of their way. I’m proud to be a kind American Wasp. I’m disappointed by my thoughts. There’s pressure behind my eyes. In the center of my chest. It must be guilt. As I turn the corner, the woman smiles and nods. I offer a flat palm wave. Perhaps this pressure is love.

My eyes pop open in the night. Realizing she’d crossed not only the small side street I was on, but also the highway where the light allows the shortest time. I see her hustling with baby and bags of food. So close to stacked bumpers. Cars hurrying toward fast food or fun. People inside who hate their jobs or spouses. People who don’t understand why they’re always angry.

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