So, there is this woman in my mom’s neighborhood, maybe 75 years old. She’s a retired Army nurse. She has a helmet of dyed black hair, and eyes of steel. She never smiles. She grew up in Detroit and disdains its descent into chaos. I do, too because I grew up there as well and I remember what a great city it used to be.
Anyway, she’s in her front yard one day, just standing there, and two neighbor boys, one white, one black, about 8 or 9 years old, ride by on their bikes. They stop. Hey there, Miss Joanna they say, grinning widely. She studies them for a split second. Those are some icy eyes she’s got. Just keep moving, she says.