We Didn’t Start The Fire…?

We give our child a pack of matches

and they go outside and strike those matches

and they start a fire

and that fire burns down a neighbors house

and our child returns and demands more matches

crying, ‘we have used all of our matches, we must have more!’

and we give them two packs of matches

and they become more efficient,

needing only one single match now

to burn down a house

so they are able to burn dozens of houses

and they finish off the second pack of matches

and return home to demand still more matches

and also a hammer and nails and wood

and we give it to them, all of it

and now as dozens of houses burn

our child uses the hammer and nails and wood

to board up other houses

locking the people inside this time

and then uses the matches and starts fire

after fire

and our child watches the houses burn

ignoring the screams of the people burning alive

and we can hear the screams from our own house

the screams of our neighbors burning alive

but we are busy, there is no time to listen

to screams coming from so far away

we’ll worry about our neighbors some other day,

and our child returns home, hungry and smelling of smoke

and we tell them to wash before dinner

and we feed them dinner

and give them ice cream for dessert

and we tell them how great they are

and we tuck them in to bed

as the last cries from the neighborhood finally go silent

and when they wake up,

on their night stand they find a whole case of matches

and in the driveway, a bicycle

so they can ride to the next neighborhood

About soitgoes1984

I was born and raised on land stolen from the Pocumtuc. I now live on a small island in the middle of the Pacific ocean, on land that was stolen more recently, from the Hawaiians. I am addict, struggling to kick the habit of fossil fuel. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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