Photography by Devon Butler

While I waited at a red light, I saw him walking, a steady, but abrupt pace. One leg stiffer than the other. He wore the same leather jacket, the ring in his eye brow. His long black hair hung around a stoic face, a face that seemed hard. I recognized him instantly.

A few weeks ago, we met at a rally in front of the children’s aid society. I asked him why he was there. “Judged unfit” he said, “Taken,” “No goodbyes.” He told me his child died in foster care. The most important thing taken from him, all he had left was the power to protest, to make them think they had not broken him yet.

The masked vulnerability in his gait, in his solid gaze staring straight ahead, holding his coffee in a paper cup. Tears sprang to my eyes as I watched his walk. Trying to embody toughness, to show disinterest through his walk – but his entire being cracking with sorrow.