By Meghan M.M. Trimm
I am in a dream. I see an SUV hit a biker, with a child carrier. It was an Arab-looking man with a baby on the back of his bicycle. I hear wailing -- an infant’s cries. The father’s skull is cracked on the pavement. He is dead. The streets around him are paved in red. All around me I notice my neighbors going to work, mowing their grass, sipping tea on their front lawn, but there is no one scrambling to aid. I have the stunning realization that I am the only person in this world who knows what is happening. I try to yell for help, but there is no sound like someone pressed the mute button.
The woman who was following them is in shock -- the mother. She puts down her bike, shaking, and falls on her knees. I can see the blood of her husband seeping into the threads of her burka around her knees. She hasn’t even cried yet -- her face caught in an agony that cannot yet bear sound. I feel compelled to move, but I am rooted to the ground until the spreading bodily fluids reach my sneakers. Suddenly I am in full motion, dashing to the baby carrier. The child’s arm is crushed between her seat and the pavement by the weight of her father. She is bleeding from her head with cuts around her mouth and eyes. She landed in broken glass. I feel shame for the trash thrown in the streets of my careless city. I want to lift her out of there and give her comfort, but I know I could do more harm than good if she has an injured spine.
The mother is screaming, she is moving toward her lost husband on her hands and knees. She does not feel the glass, or if she does she doesn’t care. I feel I can do nothing. I am on my knees holding the infant’s hand.
The blood covering the streets is seeping up into the neighbors’ yards. It reaches beyond this invisible scene, creeping up and soaking the lawn, drenching the lawn furniture; it reaches my neighbors' hands. I look on in amazement as they go about their lives unnoticing. How can they not see they have blood on their hands!? I feel angry and helpless.
The SUV, with tinted windows, backs up and attempts to drive past. I have found my purpose. Without thinking I step into its path. The engine roars at me like a mad beast, but I know I have to stay. Scrambling my phone from my pocket I call for emergency care.
As I stand there waiting in the path of the beast I feel a tug on my jeans. I look down and see the child. She has grown into a 3 or 4 year old now. She looks up at me with sparkling piercing happy eyes. When I meet her gaze, I am awake.
|Her Name is Peace|
by Meghan M.M. Trimm