In literature, situational irony is the difference between what is expected to happen and what actually occurs. In the poem, a young girl wants to attend a freedom march, a type of political rally, in downtown Birmingham. Her mother fears the march isn’t a safe place for her daughter, so she sends her to church instead. The situational irony is that the mother expects that the church will provide a safe place for her daughter while the march would not. What occurs, however, is the opposite. The child is killed in a bombing at the church and would have actually been safer at the freedom march. It is ironic that a political rally was a much safer place than a church that day.