sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox
Against Writing about Children
When I think of the many people who privately despise children, I can't say I'm completely shocked, having been one. I was not exceptional, uncomfortable as that is to admit, and most children are not exceptional. The particulars of cruelty, sizes Large and X-Large, memory gnawing it like a fat dog, are ordinary: Mean Miss Smigelsky from the sixth grade; the orthodontist who slapped you for crying out. Children frighten us, other people's and our own. They reflect the virused figures in which failure began. We feel accosted by their vulnerable natures. Each child turns into a problematic ocean, a mirrored body growing denser and more difficult to navigate until sunlight merely bounces off the surface. They become impossible to sound. Like us, but even weaker.