My kindergartener is safe in her bed now; I am shedding more tears and praying for the mamas who have to face tomorrow without theirs.
At the beginning of a long road and a steep climb,
Where the sun is rising behind a tall mountain,
You, the runners of a marathon you've not trained for, but must now finish, stand.
We are on the sidelines, with deafening cheers,
Lining up for as long as this journey goes,
To bear witness as you reach for the glowing warmth coming up behind that hill.
We cannot run for you.
if you'll let us,
We will pass you metaphorical protein bars and
Tiny cups filled with electrolyte water and
Watch as you place one foot, then the other, then the other.
We will brace your backs and bind up your smaller scrapes
While you go as though your life depended on it
Because there's no other truth to examine now,
No maxim or sympathetic adage to bestow,
No promise of loss restored,
No comfort we can create,
Our prayers are the now-hoarse voices,
Calling out to propel your next step forward in the darkest and hardest climb
Of your life. This Nation's bent knees and heavy hearts are the cheering crowd,
Saying - No. You will not be alone.
In this great loss, you will never be alone.
The depth of your anguish we can never know,
Still, we promise to carry your babies with us, and
To pass you another tiny cup filled with electrolyte water
As you go to the rising light.
I cannot run for you.
I stand watch as you go.