Bedtime Stories

how can it be anything more than just

a myth

nothing more than a childhood dream

that we take for granted 

when our hands are small

and our eyes full of the world

a bright and beautiful place

 

when we’re young and innocent

the world is full of magic 

light

and beauty

small hands reaching towards the sky

a big bright future

eyes glistening with the thoughts of possibilities 

placed in soft heads

by those who have raised them

 

we tell our children our world is safe

that it is built on hopes and dreams

that if you believe it you can achieve it

and they believe it

 

and yet they cower in the dark

afraid of the unseen threats they cannot see

monsters, monsters everywhere

big and small

thick and scaly

thin and furry

big teeth, big horns

limitless terrors hiding just out of sight

 

little do our children know that those monsters are not 

just a myth of their childhood

that the real myth is this picture-perfect world

we make them believe to be true

that the bright lights in their eyes

and that feeling of security, safety

is fleeting

a myth we tell them

but is it for them or for us?

 

genocide

rape

civil war

people dying in our streets

at the hands of another person

taking rights from women

persecuting homosexuals

not recognizing non-binary genders

harsher immigration laws

the Amazon on fire

billionaire’s pockets lined with cash

while people starve and freeze under dumpsters

the mentally ill locked in prisons

prisons used as a form of persecution, not justice

 

is this myth that we tell

that our world is light and beautiful

that our society offers equality

that we are all happy

            for our children or for us?

 

the monsters that hide in a child’s closet

are the monsters that manifest in some people’s lives

every single day

 

anti-abortion laws

religious persecution

racial profiling

fear of being assaulted or killed

            based on the color of your skin

            based on your gender

            based on your sexuality

            based on your religion

 

these monsters do not plague us all

because some of us get to live in this beautiful myth

a myth we have crafted for ourselves

to ignore the human suffering and injustice that we swim in

 

some of us get to live this myth

the gods and goddesses in the modern story of humanity

untouched by these all-to-real monsters

that threaten to consume so many others

 

we wish the stories that we told our children were true

and that their crying at night

about a monster under their bed

was not the reality we are all stuck in

the real myth is the stories we tell them

and only the truly innocent can recognize that the monsters of their childhood

      are not the myth we try to make them out to be.

This poem is about: 
Our world

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