1st Place

Riders’ complexions change as we cross invisible residential boundaries. Candy Crush colors explode, thumbs scroll; eyes on screens, not on each other’s otherness. Black and brown English High students jostle for the seat, cursing and laughing, liberated from lectures and pop quizzes. Condo-dwelling gentrifiers commute in wool slacks and sensible boots and concentrate on NPR in their Airpods. Chinatown grandmas hang bags of garlic-y vegetables and toddlers from their wrists. The T taxies my tween to window shop in Back Bay and movie hop at Boston Common. Her White friends’ moms, aghast, «Is it safe?!» «Of course! It’s home.»

Rosann Tung, 55 Years old,
Jamaica Plain.

Ilustration: Maddie Frost.