I’ve sat in the corner of a room,
crouched on the floor in heels,
crunched between teenagers,
wondering what I would do the day
a gunman finally came.
I’m lucky to have never been targeted,
who knows?
I’m a teacher,
I’m a woman,
I’m a pagan,
I’m a liberal,
I’m a citizen of a country where men on no-fly lists can buy a gun.
My kids are those who
laugh when someone farts,
who get angry for fictional people who have been wronged,
who tell me they love me
and cry on my shoulder
and bring me tissues, wide-eyed, when I cry.
Some of them love men,
some of them love women,
some love both.
Some love no one,
and some of them aren’t loved by
but me.
They could be in a club someday,
dancing to a pulse,
like a countdown.
I wish I could protect them.
But I can only teach them to love,
to live free of fear,
and to live.
I hope,
to live.