Did you see them all?
From your perch on top the marble statue, where I hoisted you to take in the scene.
Did you see her?
The weary looking elderly woman just to our left, with the deep crease between her brow. The one with the grey wiry hair poking out from under her black felt hat, who stood in silence, fist clenched in the air.
Before your feet got antsy and your shoulders hunched in the cold, did you see her?
The one in the front, wearing bright red lipstick between the perfectly coiffed black bob, sign in hand, a red peacoat that fit just right. When she turned she revealed herself- as one whose journey began belonging to the opposite sex, but who likely never felt she belonged at all.
Did you see him?
The weathered father whose 14 year old daughter stood at his side, where he wishes his wife stood too, except that she was attending to her elderly father once again.
Did you see them?
The children, no older than eight years old, whose signs made use of the famous four letter word reserved by their parents for behind closed door conversations or for painful stubbed toes, or in this case, in reference to hate.
Did you notice the hijabs, of every vibrant colour of the rainbow, the babies, on breasts and in arms, the toddlers, racing between solemn mothers’ statuesque legs?
Before your sister nosedived into the concrete and before you made the sign with the bunnies and the hearts on it, did you see their faces?
The ones with tears stained on their cheeks, and the ones with war paint under their eyes? Did you see the pride flags, the American flags, the signs with swastikas, with ovaries, with spray painted pussies? Did you take any of that in?
From your perch atop the statue, from the middle of the crowd, did you see?
See that we were all together in one place, despite differences in size, age, race, gender and culture?
See that we were all singing together, despite differences in first languages, in religion, in musical tastes?
Did you see that we were all arm to arm, brushing up close one to the next, despite typical courtesy for private space shared amongst people who, hours before, were mere strangers?
Did you see how many men there were? How many young girls? Did you see the few grandfathers, and those too old to walk anymore?
Did you see that tiny newborn baby?
Because I saw it all. And then I saw you, sitting still atop that statue in the middle.
And it made me wonder if you really saw it, or just glanced. I wonder if you really digested the tears or the fighting words.
Was it more than just women wearing cat ears for you?
You’re only five years old and yet you had to be there, whether it made much sense or not. Because this is the world we live in, and the one in which you will be raised.
We were there for all of them, and they were there for you.
So I needed to place you above the crowd. I needed your eyes to be open.