Weeks before the First Anniversary of Marriage Equality
For the 49 people murdered on Latin Night at Pulse in Orlando, their loved ones,
and everyone who’s LGBTQ, especially those who identify as LatinX and LGBTQ.
Reaching that equality milestone last year
makes these bodies even heavier to carry.
It’s as if our family has raised a child—
guided them through a thicket of bad schools,
bullies, or near-brushes with addiction,
and come out the other side of high school
with the child employed, in college,
or otherwise beginning to make their own way.
Then just as their cap-and-gown photo
begins to look familiar on the wall,
after we’ve begun to trust we may have done it,
gotten them through to adulthood,
on a Sunday, before darkness gives way to morning,
the phone rings. We answer, already trembling.
Wendy DeGroat’s poetry has appeared in U.S. and U.K. publications, including Common-place, Raleigh Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, About Place, Mslexia, and TRIVIA: Voices of Feminism. She’s a librarian in Richmond, Virginia, and curates poetryriver.org. She and her wife Annette were in Provincetown when they learned about the tragedy at Pulse.