Updated: Jun 12, 2022
dear future child
dear future child, I was asked today if it
was even moral to have you at all. should I
bear unto the flames another nightingale to
sing my own name? in 10 years you would be
born to the inferno. in 10 years I would
bear you to die where I once made a home.
dear future child, I was 5 when I decided I
would like to be a mother. my grandmother
said motherhood was an art of sacrifice. If I do
become a mother, remind me to teach you
how to be as transparent as the wind. To move
hope unto another if that makes things softer.
dear future child, when you grow older I only
want you to remember where you came from,
& that is the farmer’s market where they made
my hands the sickle and my feet the plow. I
spent a lifetime trying to hide my heritage,
to forget wherever the exile is, within me.
dear future child, say that you do see the hurting,
in its seething form. I would hope it is twisted
open from the flame, then you do what my family
has done for decades & you make breathing an art
of strength. like my family, there are too many
lives inside you. & all of them thirsty for return.
dear future child, I want you to know the lilacs
I left in the garden will bloom, now & forever, like
a reminder that you’ll be okay. at the very least, you’ll
be alive. and in thirty years your child will crawl
breath-first into the garden & she won’t forget the
work your ancestors have done to call this home.
dear future child, I can only say I’m sorry. when I
grow old the blood will run stale & the fires will
burn faster across the marshes. you will only have
the memory when you leave Earth in search for better.
& when you move to a foreign land I want you to
remember, I left you here to keep going without me.
dear future child, remember, your home is a diptych.
you will love the country one second & the other
you will flee as if the waves turned in & told you, run!
most of all I want you to remember where I taught
you to hurt. I cannot say it will be a pleasant farewell
from the nesting, but you have wings for a reason.