Her World on Fire

My 12 year old is aware.

My 12 year old is aware that the world is on fire no matter how many times you tell her it isn’t. She knows that a gun has more rights than her body-she mentioned it in passing. She mentioned it like it was a book she had read or a movie she had watched.

When RBG died, I cried. My husband held me in the middle of a NY state forest and promised me it would be alright, that he would always stand by my decisions like the tall trees surrounding us. I loved him for this; I hated him for this. I loved that he would be my protector, but I hated that I would need one.

The day my city died started out different for the women, but afternoon tragedy kept that story off the evening news. The morning had brought sunlight and screaming, there before our City Hall.  I stood with the fiercest of women, sounding off our rage as we paraded through the downtown streets.  We were full of fire and fury, and freedom.

No tears came on June 24th.  Only a quiet and expected rage, growing deeper each passing day, waiting.  Deep puddles of sadness splotched about my neighborhood as I passed sisters on the streets, just as enraged as I was.

My husband maintains his stance: my body is mine.  I thank him, but that is not enough- not enough to say it to my face. Say it to theirs-say it to every man in your life.  Make them shout it from the rooftops.

They want so much to be our protectors, it seems.  And yet, given the opportunity, given the information, given the instructions-still we see no assistance.   Still we see no change.  They could be our superheroes, if they weren’t so afraid of the opinions of one another.

It’s been a little while now, and the tears came eventually and sporadically.  Once processed, action becomes the call, urging me to offer whatever I can.  I look for protest-I look for dissent.  I no longer trust you, because you can’t trust me-that’s what they are telling us.

You think we can’t be trusted.  You thnk your mother-sister-daughter-friend can’t be trusted. 

And my 12 year old?  She is aware. 


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