Normal abortion services?
Normal abortion services?
they say you should not
at the sun
ignoring the real possibility
that it is the night
that has already
To the scared, cold,
In each photograph
This oddball monster
While the dying sun,
Claw-handed scribe, failing light,
Into one kind of eternity
these stories we tell
of bartering children for the status quo
are older than the Minotaur
dark, iconic monster
who most resembles our complacency
As long as the child sent into the labyrinth is not my own
we mutter, a sotto voce offering
To the god of what it would cost to save them all
He, unlike the Minotaur, is a natty dresser
With advanced degrees and a split-level colonial
He tsk-tsks about the rising price of safety
Rams our collective shame into his artisanally-crafted
pets his children and standard
with the same idle indifference
Ignoring the growing sport
Of hunting children
In the labyrinthine
minds of men who have traded
The suffering of this human child
For their own eternal
Imagine them as you will but never
Assume your scepticism will make them
In the smoke of our discarded daughters
/commerce of indifference
Shoots craps in crowded rooms
Sweat-palmed cash for common shame
Monsters of righteousness
From this fire we
have made of love.
I am familiar with stolen
Children stolen names
Borrowed children stolen names
Borrowed stolen beautiful
Is when you
Become a face in a crowd
The crowd then becoming
You in every face
I have looked
You in every
Can’t do that or you will lose
Her you never truly
Only a name
Crumpled broken paper fluttering down from the blown-apart skyscrapers which once defined our empire
Mushroom clouded elephantine weight falls to its knees
Compressed neutron star mother
Heart the size of a sugar cube
Weight of 300 million
On my chest
As I walk through the dark
Singing off-key these borrowed breakup songs
Fierce to the teeth
Lost until I know
You will be
haunts me with her gray
Soul, robbed of light
Too young to ever choose this
She is a ghost
Who in all other aspects
Breastplate taken in battle.
Which is why I see your face before
The iron bars invisible to all but
Jailed by men with carved out hearts
I carry you, darling
Close to my own
Beg the God of air and light
To teach us how
Away from the shadows
Where ordinary humans claw and devour
All but unaware
They have bartered their own
For shreds of ashen dung
pretend you had a lost daughter
Who in your mind will always be
A beautiful baby girl
Now pretend that in order to survive
You start to see your beautiful lost baby
Then “everyone” starts to do things they really should not do
Go places they should not go
Smash through rules…
designed for their safety
So you, poor sot, try to warn them away…
From the crap they should not get into
But they don’t really wanna listen
Because who the heck are you anyway?
(Half-crazed stranger with some lost kid)
Yet you still
You know because you lost a child.
So you go find them
In the crack houses
And IRS offices where they work
…and screw up royally
Because you know
That is what love does
Abstract-I get it
So let me try once more–
Years ago I rode on a bus in a country men travelled to in order to have “legal” sex with minors.
A white man got on the bus with a girl from this other country.
A girl, not a woman.
We. The people on the bus. Watched them travel together. Knowing (ball-parking, at least)…their destination.
Their terrible destination.
If she is alive somewhere I would hold her
Tell her her “job” was not her fault
Tell her I love you
(No matter what)
–I love you
Now please darling,
It needs to be said–crimes against children are regrettably common worldwide. Most go unreported.
The story causing justifiable outrage in Morocco right now is worth examining.
A sixty year old European pedophile is convicted of raping 11 children and then pardoned by the Moroccan king.
But even worse is the subtext: pedophiles from first world countries travel to poorer countries to prey on children who have few legal or economic protections.
We send our predators abroad. They go abroad knowing that their victims will have no chance.
And if by some chance they get caught after violating the lives of young kids?
Send them home?
Pretend you were not told their crimes?
God does not forget. We will all be held to an account for the crimes against children that did not evoke outrage.
Jesus whipped men for less.
We turn away.
After I read about you I wrote a bunch of stuff. Then I walked, prayed, and cried. Some people won’t tell your story out of fear; others only out of fear.
But what I am afraid of is this–that no one will be there to heal the damage, that no one will tell you
none of this is your fault, and little of it needs to define you.
You deserve to survive this. You deserve birthday parties and pony rides, rock climbing and ice cream. You deserve to sit at a table with people who see you, know your story, and say I love you, Stan. You are a great kid..
Just because you were raised by wolves…doesn’t mean you are one.
No, dear, Lamb, you are a boy. Loved by a real Dad…the only one who can heal us all from the monsters, smiling in the picture: so broken.
Children are resilient.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard this….
The truth is children are not any more resilient than adults. They are helpless and not yet mature enough to understand or control the harm done to them. We all carry our wounds with us, and children need vigorous advocates, not cheap platitudes.
My friend tells a story: he was quite young and won a prize at a picnic. An older child tricked him into relinquishing his winning ticket. Only later did he understand the trust he had placed in the older child was misplaced and he had been cheated.
Small story, but one he tells to this day with a sense of injustice. How much more are the truly harmful things that happen to children wounds we carry into adulthood?
So think about my small story the next time someone says children are resilient. If you want your child to recover from the wounds of deception, abuse, or cruelty in a darkened world you will have to be their advocate and physician– providing a safe place to heal, a shoulder to grieve on, and a tough mama or daddy to fight for them. Fight for the safety of the little ones.
You be the resilient one. Speak out.