A shelter in our car

A shelter in our car

Police cars are coming closer. The sirens hurt my ears and the lights

blind my eyes. I jump up, really, really frightened.

“Shhh, Zettie, lie down,” Mama says. “We don’t want to be noticed.”

We sink between the clothes on the back seat of the car. “Mama, it’s

creepy sleeping in our car,” I whisper.

“I know,” she says. “Things happen in the city. Police cars are always

on some kind of chase.”

She holds me close until the sirens stop.

When all is quiet, Mama drives down Chandler Avenue and parks in

front of a courtyard apartment house. Its garden is filled with flowers –

bougainvilleas, roses, hibiscus – in the streetlight, their colors as bright as

the flowers in the yard we left behind in Port Antonio. Mama and I love

parking in this spot.