Her mother told me a story about something
that had happened that summer. Swerving
down the road, a fireman pulled her over.
When he looked through her belongings,
there were needles in her purse. I’m a diabetic,
she told him. He allowed her mother to come
pick her up and take her home, but maybe
he shouldn’t have. Maybe he should have called
for backup, for a cop to take her in and book her,
keep her there overnight. It would’ve been messy,
but maybe that’s what it would’ve taken. One can’t
be blamed for wondering. The fireman gave her
a chance, maybe when she didn’t deserve it.
I have to remember it’s not his empathy
that killed her
Danielle Shorr (she/her) is a professor of disability rhetoric and creative writing at Chapman University. Her work has appeared in Lunch Ticket, Driftwood Press, The Florida Review, The New Orleans Review and others. @danielleshorr