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Parents’ Lament

by Ken Sanes

We are doing what parents are supposed to do.
We tend to our children’s scrapes and bruises;
we wipe away tears caused by minor slights,
and hold our children close to us when they are young.
We nourish them with good food and try to protect them
from alcohol, envy, and a world full of poison.
But how can we guard against a miasma
that seeps into the pores of life
and turns its victims into the walking dead?
How can we move them out from under a shadow
that is extending over our world?
If we can’t protect our children from these things,
what good are we,
when our most important job is to keep them safe?
Which is why we refuse to accept the nightmare
that now threatens everything we love,
just as we refuse to pay obeisance to an idol
that was raised up
in a vain attempt to control the power of death.
It is why we have chosen to say “No,”
to the alliance of death and death-in-life
while we can still hear the voices of our children
in the hushed silence of the summer air.


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