#68

May 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

“Sanitize.
Kill germs – kill germs – kill sickness”
They chant,
To children
Who long for muddy toes and sharing sodas
Who have traded bubble wands for bubble worlds
Whose classrooms glint like hospital corridors
The type of pure white that gives us migraines
but calms our contaminated nerves
Children who march like zoot suit armies of equality
For exactly 24 minutes of “gross motor skills development”
So long as
They do not touch bugs, basketballs or each other

“Sanitize.
Kill germs – Kill germs – Kill bias.”
They chant
With an antibacterial wipe in hand
For the crooked smile of individuality
Talent and strengths suppressed and stuffed
Into boxes, all of matching equality
But if none get red ink to seek their corrections
Or win shiny trophies to encourage direction
We’re building a world of mediocrity

“Sanitize.
Kill germs – Kill germs – Kill frenzy”
They chant
To boys
Filled with Ritalin because they’re riled
But that’s not medicating
It’s tranquilizing
Personality – another “flaw” we’re sterilizing
And yes, it’s hard to keep six years
Of magnified-ant-burning and mud-covered-lizard-chasing
Confined to a small plastic chair for six hours but maybe
that’s because he wasn’t built for books, but building.
Give him clay and baking soda and he will learn about volcanoes
Give him bouncing balls for gravity, and theatrics for his history and maybe
You might learn a thing or two.
But oh, what a mess.

“Sanitize.
Kill germs – Kill germs – Kill disease”
They chant
To cookie monster and birthday snacks
But anyone who survived a year of this
Deserves her candle in a cupcake,
Not a carrot and maybe
Children could be healthy and eat cookies
If they played more tag and dodgeball but
Those balls might cause them bruises, tag would need to have a winner
And medically we’ve proven how these things
Could both be killers.

“Sanitize.
Kill germs – Kill germs – Kill faith”
They chant
As they sterilize young spirits
Drawing lines from little arms to apes
When folded hands earn handcuffs
And holidays lose their names
We’re disinfecting wonder, using science to defeat
But inquisitiveness doesn’t require
Sterilizing belief

I believe in God and science
In recess, winners and sweets
I believe in cuts and bruises
And in sometimes losing at things
I believe in dirt and mud
And in sharing playground kisses
And if we call these germs, I pray my children
Always have these sicknesses

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