I am so scared to bring a child into this world.
I am so terrified of losing them to a white abyss of six-inch heels and indifference.
I am so scared that they will not know that to sleep under the milky way is to remove all barriers between you and the whole sky. The whole universe.
I am so terrified that they will be scared of feeling. Of falling. Of catching.
I am so scared that I will fail them. That others will fail them. That they will feel like they’ve failed.
I’m scared they’ll love cars more than the stars.
That gold will trump holding each other.
That empathy will run through their fingers like sand.
I am so terrified that they’ll forget how to read. Books. Poems. Newspapers.
They’ll forget how to sing.
They’ll only dance when the lights are out and there are sweaty bodies pressed up against their prepubescent hips, and they will think that this is what dancing is.
I am so scared to raise someone who cannot give.
I am so terrified to raise someone who cannot compromise. Someone who compromises too much.
Someone who stands for nothing, mostly because they’re too weak from not eating in days. Their ribs weren’t prominent enough. Their thighs were too much like thighs.
I am so scared that they will not see injustice.
That they will brush it off with last night’s glitter and get someone else to wash their jackets for them.
I am so terrified that they will fight about the wrong things, with ignorant little fists.
I am so scared that they won’t fight about the right things.
I am scared that there will be no elephants to inspire them. That they will not know whales. That the earth will be too broken to hold them.
I am so terrified that the world will whisk them away, before they’re ready. Before I’ve shown them what fireflies are.
Before we’ve held a puppy. Before we’ve painted our walls with handprints and hearts and glow-in-the-dark stars.
I am so scared that they will love without return.
That they will fight fires that only burn.
That they will collapse before they learn.
Author: Ruby Mary Gill
Editor: Toby Israel
Photo: Zach Dischner/Flickr