She wandered through the streets on Christmas Eve, passing homes warm with love and life while snowflakes fell, cold and gentle, on her cheeks.
It was too easy to hate a world that told her she was to blame for where she was—for her poverty, for being too disabled to work, for the broken road of abuse and bad luck that had led to this moment—but that night she didn’t want to hate. That night, she wanted to forget about everything, to appreciate and marvel, and to be part of the world again.
And so she walked by those tableaux of families she’d never had and smiled at them, even if the smile was sad. She stifled the fear that swallowed her every day as she worried about being arrested, worried about being safe, worried about everything. Instead, she breathed in the cold night air deeply, like it were the blessings she’d never received, or the dreams that were taken from her. She listened to the crunch of her footsteps through the thin snow, sparkling in the glow from the streetlights, and pushed her cart home to the bridge.
Frances Koziar has published work in over 100 different literary magazines and outlets including Best Canadian Essays 2021 and Daily Science Fiction. She has also served as an author panelist, fiction contest judge, and a microfiction editor, and she is seeking an agent. She is a young (disabled) retiree and a social justice advocate, and she lives in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Website: https://franceskoziar.wixsite.com/author