We Think of Children

We think of children

Who put chocolate fingers everywhere,

Who like to be tickled,

Who stomp in puddles and ruin their new pants,

Who sneak Popsicle’s before supper,

Who erase holes in math workbooks,

Who never can find their s#@$%s.

And we think of those

Who stare at photographers from behind barbed

wire,

Who can’t bounce down the street

In a new pair of sneakers,

Who never “counted potatoes,”

Who are born in places we wouldn’t be caught

dead,

Who never go to the circus,

Who live in an X-rated world.

We think of children

Who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of

dandelions,

Who play with the dog and bury goldfish,

Who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch

money,

Who covers themselves with Band-Aids and sing

off-key,

Who squeeze their toothpaste all over the sink,

Who slurp their soup.

And we think of those

Who never get dessert,

Who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,

Who watch their parents watch them die,

Who can’t find any bread to steal,

Who don’t have rooms to clean up,

Whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s dresser,

Whose monsters are real.

We think of children

Who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,

Who throw tantrums in the grocery store and

Pick at their food,

Who like ghost stories,

Who shove dirty clothes under the bed

And never rinse out the tub,

Who get visits from the tooth fairy,

Who don’t like to be kissed in front of the

carpool,

Who squirm in church and scream in the phone,

Whose tears we sometimes laugh at,

And whose smiles can make us cry.

And we think of those

Whose nightmares come in the daytime,

Who will eat anything who have never seen a

dentist

Who aren’t spoiled by anybody,

Who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to

sleep,

Who live and move, but have no being.

We think of children who want to be carried

And of those who must.

For those we never give up on

And for those who don’t have a second chance,

For those we smother

…and those who will grab the hand of anybody

kind enough to offer it.

We think of children.