just not you

Livelihood, Liza Ashley

I didn’t see anything at first 

but I felt every bump 

and crack of the dirt road,

the sudden jolt and sharp turn

of the wheel 

as we made our own road 

around the boy.

mumbles and stares

from all aboard 

with one voice above the rest,

“No, we can’t stop”

the boy took a crooked shape

on the fluorescent rust-colored dirt

as others formed

a crescent moon around him

and began to wail 

“Msaada! Msaada!”

the ground was dark 

and muddled around his torso 


that was it.

We had moved on

Down our new road,

a road that existed

without the boy crumpled

in the stained dirt road

because we’re here

to help.

*Msaada, Swahili for help

About the Author

Liberty Lomonaco · Whitworth University

Liberty Lomonaco graduated from Whitworth University in 2021 with a BA in English. She currently works for her family business writing blogs and managing their social media. Liberty enjoys reading and writing in her spare time and hopes to continue pursuing writing as a career.

About the Artist

Liza Ashley · Northeastern University

Liza Ashley graduated from Northeastern University where she studied Human Services with a concentration in Applied Educational Psychology. She has a deep passion for working with children, especially young girls and children on the autism spectrum, and is hoping to pursue a career in inclusive education after graduation. “Livelihood” originally appeared in Spectrum and was first featured in the 2017 volume of plain china. 

No Comments

Leave a Reply