Don’t Cry my Children

Climate Crises 20th September 2019

They scold you for being
too big for your boots.
For back-chatting.
For singing in quiet places.
For feeding the animals.
For questioning the damnation
of some and the elation
of others. They question
the questioning. You must
not cry, my children!
It happens because it happens.

Soon you’ll learn to laugh
in all the right quarters.
Soon you’ll learn to lie
with the best of them.
Soon, the answers will be
covered by a bill-of-sale you’ll
slip into comfortably:
the humans of this world
clothe and cord their existence
in a way that costs the very
earth but not one red cent.

And… as for the odd one of you,
they can’t take a chance
on the odds of a chance. The unusual
is dangerous. A close watch is kept.
They scold with laws fit
only for the breaking. There’s
‘the locking-up.’ The throwing away
of keys – and a thing called personality.
You wouldn’t want to be
one of the oddities left crying?
Whatever you do, do not make the mistake
of answering me.

Stefanie Bennett, ex-blues singer and musician, has published several books of poetry, a novel, and a libretto. She also worked with Arts Action For Peace. Of mixed ancestry [Irish/Italian/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Australia in 1945. Read other articles by Stefanie.