Morning Off Harrison

It was 3:30 in the morning when she heard gunshots go off in her neighborhood over by Harrison and Creighton. The older woman sat in the window watching cop cars with lights on and sirens blaring, make their way down nearby alleys which were wet from a morning rain. The sound of water pealing off tires almost sounded musical. A truck carrying a bunch of Mexicans was parked out in the street, waiting for the doors to day labor to open. Cops continued their search.

And she put on a kettle for tea. The sounds of the city would not allow her to go back to bed. She picked a favorite from the cookie jar, English Breakfast, and let it steep in a cup with the saucer over it. More gunshots went off and a boy lay on the sidewalk with blood seeping through his clothes. She took a sip.

As the sun came up, her phone began to hum loudly with a high pitch noise coming from it. It was an Amber alert. The salt and peppered hair lady read the information and saw that the child had been abducted around her neighborhood a short time ago. She rubbed the wrinkles on her face and whispered, Could we have peace please? could we have peace?

The doors to day labor were opened and the Mexicans slowly took seats to wait for their names to be called. Some would go to factories, others on the backs of trash collecting trucks. They spoke in Spanish. The only English they knew was, clock in, clock out; drinking coffee with cream, cinnamon, and sugar in it. Eating tortillas their wives had made that night, wrapped in tin foil. The sun was now up. Soon their work would begin.

The cop cars with lights on stuck around the neighborhood till mid-morning. She had gone back to bed where she dreamed. In her dreams there were no gun shots, no police cars, nobody laying on the ground shot, and not a child taken. These were dreams of peace. She finally had her peace.

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