Stoplight — By Tatyana Younger


The Uber driver hits his breaks

a little too hard,

as he slows the car too far

away from the light.

There in the corner

two black men sit with signs.

I want to jump out,

and offer the men the money I have,

but I notice the driver doesn’t seem ready to stop.

His fingers, trembling,

he just can’t get them to



the elderly white man beside me begins breathing heavily

Huh huh huh

He, painfully slow,

rolls the car up to the crosswalk

Huh huh huh

As if




To these men is

Huh huh huh

suffocating him.

I keep my head forward.

Afraid of looking down.

Afraid of looking away.


He jumps when one of the men exclaims.

Hands grip the wheel.

In another life, his wallet.

In another, a gun.

And now I see


The car inches forward,

The men look our way,

The driver presses the gas.

I open my mouth to finally speak


~ Tatyana Younger

Tatyana Younger is Kansas born and raised. She is a paraprofessional educator, activist, and poet. She’s committed to community engagement, spending much of her time at community meals and events. Unapologetically black, yet undeniably anxious, she hopes to build solidarity wherever she goes in her life.

November Editor, Ronda Miller, is the State President of Kansas Authors Club. Miller has four books of poetry: Going Home: Poems from My Life, MoonStain, WaterSigns and Winds of Time. Her upcoming children’s book, I Love the Child, will be published 12/13/2019. The book’s illustrator is Katie Wiggins, a found cousin.

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