work in progress: swimming lessons

Swimming lessons

I sit and watch
My sweet, innocent
Daughter at swimming lessons
And I think of all the other
Sweet innocent daughters

In cages
And alone

The collective
is heartbroken
And outraged
and so we do what we
Know how to do,
Make calls
write letters

Good things.
But not enough.

And we try to separate our small lives
And emotions
From the collective grief

We try to still laugh
Because we have that choice.
The option of turning away.

I sit in metal bleachers
In a hot room smelling of
Chlorine while young women
Teach my daughter to swim.
While others care for her
Gently and attentively.
While a lifeguard looks on
Never far away.

I do not worry for her well being.

She looks over periodically
To make sure I am there
And still watching.

How is it possible
That we are here
Instead of there.