Our greatest national resource is the minds of our children.
When they are hungry
who would give them rocks
When they cry for a spark
who would spew water
When they strive to see
who would deploy smoke and mirrors
When they would fly
who would clip their wings
When they desire to go further up, further in
who would confine, constrain
When they crave autonomy
who would demand automatons
When their differences resemble a separate peace
who would distill a disparate piece
When the lengths they must travel are not equidistant
who would mistake equality for equity
When they carry fragile fragments of hope within
who would build a diehard dystopia without
When they begin to perceive diversity as a gift
who would wrap it in sameness
When they aren’t the same
who would construct uniform boxes
When they would breathe
who would affix a lid
When the scraping of the adze and the hammering cease
who will hear the sound of fingernails
the casket of our dichotomies?
Note: If you read “they” as children, try reading with “they” as teachers.
Literary allusions: Matthew 7:9-10 and Luke 11:11-12; The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis; A Separate Peace, John Knowles; Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell; The Giver, Lois Lowry; To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee; As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner.