April 26, 2017

We stood around the kitchen table listening to stories from that day’s march. Those of us who had not been there shared, guiltily, our reasons why—obligations and specific applications and children who might struggle in the crush of signs and long legs.

Assuming there’s a country left in which to march, we’ll be able to do it another year, one of us said.

That assumes there’s a world left in which to march, another replied.

There will always be a country left in which to march, said another. It’s just a question of what the consequences become.


Mothers without relief

April 25, 2017

I come to work as many things, the panelist said. As a black woman, as a lesbian. But my son just turned 18, and so, I come to work every day wondering if he will come home safely that night.

I think about my son teetering at the edge of a concrete platform, his terror-filled eyes locked on mine until he reset his balance. I can still summon the rising bile as I waited, out of reach, to see whether he’d plunge backward. I am grateful my fear was momentary; I am devastated for mothers who never get relief.



April 24, 2017

They summoned productivity experts, asked them how to achieve their goals. We have 100 days, they said. We have promised big things.

One expert suggested one day a week with no meetings, and another suggested picking one big thing to accomplish each day before breakfast. Another recommended a clear, calm mind, and they all had a good laugh around the conference table.

What are your priorities? one expert asked, and a senior staff member slid across a contract, sold like any campaign half-truth.

These are specific, measurable and time-bound, the expert said. But they certainly aren’t achievable or realistic.


No good choices

April 23, 2017

She had dreamed of learning to play the flute, of writing a sonata, or maybe even a symphony. But then the coughing began, and every day, her lungs grow more raw, and she knew she needed medical care, but it would cost more than she had saved.

She waited, and felt her pants slip around her hips, felt the gap between her skin and the billowy shirts that had once been fitted.

Why didn’t you come sooner? said the doctor with the saddest eyes.

There are no good choices, she said. I lost them all along the way.


Marching for science

April 22, 2017

In the bathroom, my toddler son has sunk a piece of paper under water in a plastic tub. He peers at it, and declares the single letter and two scribbles on it to be his name, writ large.

What do you think will happen? I ask.

I think it will fly all the way up to the sky, he says. His arms lift with the emphasized all, his whole body certain. He pronounces sky like chai, like life.

Is that your hypothesis? I ask.

Yeah, he says, and he marches out of the bathroom and back, awaiting results.


Something rotten

April 21, 2017

When she was a child, spring brought warm breezes and dry days, blooming flowers and opportunities to play outside without fear. Then, she grew up and learned everything is not always what it seems.

It has grown cold in America, she said. Summer is coming, but I don’t feel any of the warmth I remember.

Perhaps things had been as good as they appeared, or perhaps she just grew up and had more information at her disposal. Regardless, now the perfume of flowers had given way to the stench of something rotten, and the weather was all wrong.



April 20, 2017

The progressives line the intersection with signs, a moving, living billboard that shouts slogans at the cars. Black Lives Matter, they say, or I Love A Lesbian. They shimmy and shout, determined to make each driver think, if only for a moment, about the bigger picture.

It would be so easy to drive along, listening to a song that has nothing to do with this time, and stop considering how to resist, on each dark day. But I am grateful for each sign, each reminder there is more fighting to do, no matter how tired we each may be.