After reading a comment on ICHC about how kids have it too easy I wrote this, but decided not to post it on ICHC as it has nothing to do with them. It does not take into account the large swathes of the world where infant and childhood disease, malnutrition and mortality are far, far too high, just us, the lucky bit.

Which kids are we talking here
the ones whose moms are sick
can’t afford the medicine
so kid looks after mom
and their younger siblings too.
You know the ones
who can’t get to school
just lazy them I guess.
Or how about the ones
terrified by bullying
until death itself
looks like a better choice,
Or what about the kids,
parents lost their jobs,
can’t pay the mortgage,
who don’t even know
where they’re going to sleep tonight.
Or are we talking kids,
brought up in the suburbs,
dad’s an alcoholic
who likes to beat on mom.
Look around you man
take off those rosy glasses,
be grateful for those kids
who can grow-up without fear.
Then stop and think a while,
you’re old enough to know
the world is bigger still!

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  1. damommza

     /  July 9, 2011

    Another universal theme. It could be written about any kid, in any country, anywhere. I often wonder if anyone ever grows up without fear or is adulthood the prize, if you make it?

    • I am, perhaps, the wrong person to ask about growing up without fear, but it never ceases to amaze me the number of people who perhaps had a rough upbringing and subsequently want to visit that on the following generations. As for is adulthood a prize? In the very broadest sense, I suppose you could consider it so, but only if you considered childhood a competition.

  2. Very well said, Sunovawot. I didn’t have much fear in my childhood, but sadness and anger because my mother suffered from severe depressions and it made life very difficult sometimes.

    • Thank you, I think my feelings on parents are perhaps best summed up by Philip Larkin’s marvellous short poem “This be the Verse” ( The first verse is very well known, but the second puts it in context and the third the only possible solution. Note: it contains swearing, but on this occasion totally justified.


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