What Will They Tell the Children?

by Angela Nolan

What will they tell the children?

In the generations to come.

Amerika is festering

And the world festers with her.

The wound is old but the boils and pus are worsening.

Blood is pooling just below the surface – a dark purple snake.

The orange one will quicken the fall

But it was coming anyway.

We eat too much, we consume too much, we waste too much.

Too many don’t care or are still lost in a dream of manifest destiny

That was never real in the first place.

What a ridiculous notion that one is favored over another in the eyes of the creator.

Who made up this nonsense?

What will they tell the children?

In the generations to come.

When Amerika falls it will be a devastation

But might it save the world after all?

For to succumb to the death urge of our society is to die before living.

It is to starve in the lavish lap of the earth’s abundance.

It is to be silent when every nerve in your body is screaming, “NO!”

It is to hail the chief and not step out of line.

It is to give up your woman’s body as sacrifice to the irreverent god that made it ugly.

It is to watch the natural world and too many people die unloved.

It is a procession of insults too numerous to count.

It is degradation, humiliation, trauma, pain, and loss.

It is feeling oneself as the shame of the world.

What will they tell the children?

In the generations to come.

They will tell the children that people had to take sides.

They will tell them that neutrality and inaction were participation.

They will tell them that passivity and hopeful thinking were inappropriate with wolves at the door.

They will tell them how women and people of color were dehumanized and who did it.

They will tell them there was a point when it wasn’t too late and we missed it. By a lot.

They will tell them there was only one true response.

There was only resistance – pure, visceral, instinctual, and right.

We were taught to be compliant.

And then we were taught to be grateful to our oppressors.

And then we were.

They will tell them the light at the end of the tunnel was the train.

The children will know the difference.

By our words.

By our stories.

By our defiance.

Beyond grief now. Beyond hope and optimism and happy smiling faces.

We live in the betwixt and between – the festering season.

The season when everything fake is real and everything real is fake.

The season when despots and petty tyrants have their way.

The season when the snow stops and the ocean’s rise.

The season when love doesn’t conquer all, or even a little bit.

The season when misogyny is on parade and people cheer.

The season of forgetting history, again.

What will they tell the children?

In the generations to come.

They will tell them that some chose to think with all their hearts, and minds, and spirits.

They will tell of ones who put their bodies on the frontline and of those who wrote about it.

They will tell that most people on earth only wanted to live in wellness and peace.

They will tell that the evil ones were few but gathered all money and resources for themselves.

They will tell who resisted, and who sat back and watched.

They will tell how oil, and money, and gold were everything.

They will tell how the water was contaminated, the earth raped and bled dry.

Which side do you want to be on?

When they tell the children what happened

In the generations to come?

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