Friday, September 28, 2018

middle school angst

carry the flag?  me?

our middle schoolers can be loved,
capable, skilled in sport and class,
well-liked by friends, positive forces for a world 
that ought to “get them,” appreciate them, support them,
yet something is wrong,
the snake of self-doubt slithers through their sureness:
fear of what might happen,
anxiety when product or friend falters,
feeling the disturbance in the Force
when political leaders don’t lead us toward a future
where climate change is resisted, bills paid, hate rejected,
inequities of income, skin color, orientation, gender,
considered worth the effort to resolve toward a dream of equality,

it must be hard to awake toward adulthood
and then to realize that so many adults in charge
are not yet ready to be worth the respect an elder ought to deserve,

how unfair to the children
to have to grow up too fast,
since so many who run the country have not yet grown up,

I understand the cracks within the self-confidence
that allow self-doubt and worry to worm their way in,
but I also believe that the young can be of “the kingdom of Heaven,”
I feel for them as they have to grow up in a world 
that needs their rightness to release itself, 
that needs them to pick up the flag and carry it forward,
since the earlier bearers have fallen.

by Henry H. Walker
September 26, ‘18

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