Against Writing About Children

When I think of the many people
who privately despise children,
I can't say I'm completely shocked,

having been one. I was not
exceptional, uncomfortable as that is
to admit, and most children are not

exceptional. The particulars of
cruelty, sizes Large and X-Large,
memory gnawing it like

a fat dog, are ordinary: Mean Miss
Smigelsky from the sixth grade;
the orthodontist who

slapped you for crying out. Children
frighten us, other people's and
our own. They reflect

the virused figures in which failure
began. We feel accosted by their
vulnerable natures. Each child turns

into a problematic ocean, a mirrored
body growing denser and more
difficult to navigate until

sunlight merely bounces
off the surface. They become impossible
to sound. Like us, but even weaker.

by Erin Belieu

Comments (8)

I have 9. She has described my sometimes feelings very well.
This poem is very well written. It was submitted in 2003 (11 years ago) , so I wonder if Erin Belieu feels the same way more than a decade later.... We humans are multifaceted - oceans, for sure - and the sunlight bounces off the surface, and it also penetrates the surface to an extent. This poem is a vivid study of our iniquities. Has Ms. Belieu answered her poem with a study of our strengths? I hope so, because she's a skilled poet.
Like this too..children produce toxic gas and sometimes behave badly..
children are a bunch of mysteries.Like it.Keep inking.
Children and their many sides. Good poem.
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