South Temple Pedestrian Underpass

Some griefs bless us that way, not asking much space.

-Laure-Anne Bosselaar

Some nights the south side access is open,
the north blocked,

so, I linger, half-trapped in the passage, wait
for traffic overhead

to rattle me back to subway platforms past.
By now

my kid could’ve been
older than the four boys scootering loops

and whooping
down the length of the tunnel—Hey, lady,

watch this! For a few minutes
I clap for them as they spin,

cringe when they skid along the concrete floor,
before I resurface

and they stay
howling underground.

Jamie L. Smith

Jamie L. Smith is the author of "The Flightless Years", forthcoming from Finishing Line Press (November 2024). Her chapbook "Mythology Lessons" was winner of the Tusculum Review's 2020 Nonfiction Prize and is listed as notable in Best American Essays 2021. Her poetry, nonfiction, and hybrid works appear in publications including Southern Humanities Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Red Noise Collective, and anthologies by Indi(e) Blue, Allegory Ridge, and Beyond Queer Words. Please visit for more information.

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