This is a poem that I wrote inspired by the love and compassion the children at the JD McCarty Center for children with developmental disabilities have continuously taught me. I volunteer there on a weekly basis and have come to develop strong relationships with some of the children in my classroom. The names have been changed for privacy reason.
If I Could Have Children…
If I could have children right now I would want them to be like you, my darlings.
I would want them to dry my tears with their kisses and heal the rope burns around my neck with their arms.
I would want them to know what it is to play with reckless abandon.
I would want them to have John’s green eyes, Susan’s lopsided pigtails, and Carol’s crooked teeth that make a 1,000 piece puzzle look easy.
I would want them to be like you.
Your vivaciousness invites me to see sense in forsaken society, saturated with souls who seek not to save but to squash.
They will squash you because you are different.
They will squash you because you are kind.
They will squash you because when you look at the sun you see a tumultuous time bomb tossing and turning in the sky, taunting you to take a leap towards it.
They will squash you because you are not them.
Them, my darlings, don’t desire after them.
Desire after me and I will protect you, I will raise both fists against the world.
When the battle cry rises it will be for you that I raise my voice.
Determined to demonstrate how your heart has had to beat for far more than theirs ever had reason for, and that because of this, you will outlive them everyday.
Every day I walk into your kingdom I feel my chest squeeze as I say please God, let them all still be as free as Kings and Queens.
I hold my breath holding back panic as my brain holds the thought that someone who does not love you is deliberately not holding you right now.
But to see you is to catch the forgotten eyelash that fell off of God’s upper lid.
You, my darlings, are the picture the three year old girl at my church drew,
Hopelessly broken to the eye of the critic,
Unboundedly beautiful to the eye of the mom.
Even though I am not your mom, I will hang that picture on my fridge
And everyday, as I pour myself a glass of milk,
I will pour out words of affirmation and adoration for you
My words will swirl and spin and stick like pins in your flesh
Drawing forth your sweet, sweet blood, proving to the rest of the world that you are just as alive as they.
But do not ask for Band-Aids, let the sweetness flow
The world needs more blood like yours in it,
Not ashamed and not pretending.
You have all taught me that sadness is sadness and joy is joy and to deny either one is to employ the mind of a destitute daydreamer set on champion, destined for destruction.
You have all taught me what is emptiness and what is fear.
So don’t fear, my children, I will be here.
Even when I am not here I will be here.
Speaking for you,
Advocating for you,
Longing for you.