She comes to you with a kaleidoscope filled with multi-colored worries. Blood red drenched massacre overrides love. Orange, yellow sun covered evening as people shed clear tears. Blue sadness pours over the summer of 2016. Green mountains hide her away. Lush coverage she traveled back into, unaware of what happened. She knew something had happened. Her best friend handed his phone to her at Starbucks and said, “There was another shooting. They’re saying its the worst one.” The pulse rose in more numbers.
She comes to you with a numb, overworked sensation oscillating between where did we go wrong and when will we make sense? When did we stop catching lightning bugs in the backyard? Instead: LOCK DOWN. BE PREPARED. HIDE. FEAR. Safety is no place she sees.
Her Daddy taught her to fear. He showed her the worst in humanity. She knows how to take a beating. She knows her skin will swell up and scar. She knows how if a man hits her in just the right spot between both eyes, it will feel like both her eyes are bleeding. Darkness. She knows how the nighttime looks in broad daylight. She knows these things.
She comes to you asking how in the hell she can protect her own? Huddle in the corner. Put a teacher on the outskirts so they can spread their arms in order to protect thirty innocent lives. But, remember to vote down that teacher’s raise while politicians hike up their insurance premiums and deductibles. Be sure the superintendent gets her raise for two months of doing a whole lot of nothing.
Line those politicians’ pockets with pharmaceutical money. Drug money. Make sure Ruger, Remington, and Smith & Wesson provide their man with a little kickback. Politicians are bought. They’re rarely voted for.
Run, Rabbit, RUN.
Before she had her baby, her husband told her how terrified he felt to bring a child into this world. She calmed his fears as only a woman can. The world will never change. There isn’t a perfect world to bring children into. Depression. World War II. Hitler. Cold War. Vietnam War. Desert Storm. 9/11. War. War. War. Honey, we are a world who refuses to know any life without violence and bloodshed and hate. There are no perfect worlds to bring children into. But there is a place to keep them safe. There is our home.
What she didn’t know, and couldn’t know, was Paris. She didn’t know about the nightclub in Orlando. She didn’t know a man would walk into a southern church and after being greeted with love, christianity, and kindness… she didn’t know that man would still open fire.
She comes to you to say love can still win. The week following the shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, the girl watched people dressed in respect. She saw them in fancy hats hugging outside. She saw a woman standing in a red suit sobbing in the street as a man held her in his arms. She didn’t walk down the closed off street because she didn’t belong there. She watched from afar. She felt a deep sadness in her heart, but she wouldn’t cry. Because her child sat unknowingly in the back seat. She couldn’t cry in front of him. Not on a hot June vacation day.
She comes to you to say angels are real. They wear robes which look like wings and they block hatred. They stand in front of Westboro silently. At other funerals, those angels wore motorcycles vests. They stood up to the same hatred during the Newtown funerals. Angels are real. Black, white, leather, and linen. They show themselves.
Don’t run, Rabbit. Don’t run.
She comes to you with little understanding to how this world has changed. She was never taught to lockdown. She has rosaries hanging over a machete strapped to her headboard. She believes in faith and humanity a little bit more than she believes in the world being handed to the devil in a hand basket filled with hatred.
I can tolerate a lot of things. I can take a lot of beatings.
I can’t tolerate hate, and killing, and fear.
I come to you with those things.
Why should my child know this kind of world?
Has he not seen enough?
Have we not seen enough?