The 6 train screeched into the station. I spread my arms
like a mother eagle to keep drunken fools and tourists anxious for a seat
behind my family.
The doors opened, my wall broken by shoving.
I eased into a seat, pulled my arms to my chest
to avoid foreign touch.
Tears trickled down my niece’s cheeks like raindrops.
What’s wrong, I cooed.
Somebody pushed me into a pole!
I scanned the crowd for supplicant faces. Finding none,
I announced: I wish I had seen the person who pushed you.
I’d have smacked them in the face!
My contralto mocked by laughter,
casual conversation, and the roar of wheels against tracks.