By Jocelyn Lansangan

There are the drunks again
who would holler from inside and outside
the bars

at 11 in the morning to an 11-year-old girl

Trying to touch her so often that she learned to walk on
the other side of the street

The side with less bars and less drunks

6 years later, her bus passes her mom’s store
just as it always does each morning

She looks out the window to catch sight of her
just as she always does each morning

Yes there she is

She looks okay

The girl puts her head down and continues to do her

Until she gets off three stops later to get to class

3 years later she walks comfortably to her mother’s
to surprise her with the flowers she’s just picked up
for her

A homeless man tells her to zip her purse up because
someone might steal her belongings

She zips up her purse and thanks him

She then makes her way to the opposite side of the

The one with less bars and less drunks

To have lunch with her friend at the new restaurant that
has just opened up

Then she crosses the street again

The one where drunken hands had once tried to pull on
her pigtails

But this time instead goes into her favorite coffee shop
to order her usual

She sits down at her table

Admiring the work of the latest artist being featured

And she feels home

Jocelyn Lansangan is an avid reader and aspiring writer who lives off of coffee and mac n’ cheese. She hopes to self-publish a book of her poems and short stories in the near future.

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