Children Should Not
Children should not be puppies cowering from the wolf that is their father.
Children should not fear the leather snake constricted around their father’s waist.
Children should not see their distorted reflections in the pocket-sized Buck their mother keeps “just in case.”
Children should not be plagued by the gargling grumbles of their hunger because their mother was trapped by the Devil’s needle and thread and couldn’t make dinner.
Children should not sit in the soggy darkness of a utility room hiding with a musty mop while screaming echoes of familiar voices rattle their heads.
Children should not wish to blow away from the fear numbing their body as their father’s earthquake growl booms over their heads.
Children should not confuse a four-letter word for their first name.
Children should not be taken away by the towering men in blue on their 11th birthday, just to be held captive by the cruel and lonely monster that is the system for the next seven years.
Children should only know their father’s hand as the ball thrower and a pat on the back.
Children should only hear compassion and kindness in their mother’s voice.
Children should only hide in fear of the slimy, jagged-toothed cave dweller they once saw in a horror movie.
Children should only see their parents as symbols of warmth, strength, and safety.
Children should only be loved.