A Politically Correct Poem


Burning Child — A politically correct poem


Stop. Don’t speak

a word

sew lips shut with wire

before barbed ire aroused.

We must be kindness-carnate

sweet asphyxiate

in syrup

before a word gets out

that burns.

Smother it pretend

it was an embarrassment

or accident




unproductive burden on society

kill it before it draws breath

we betters might want later

for ourselves or a normal child

made in our image



Lest we be woken

from self-induced hypnosis

into soft euthanasias.

A word

rakes blows across our ears

a broom of red coals

scorches us

makes tears to leak

from a wincing pride

that seeks to hide

our deluge behind

a faux rainbow.

Let the word stay unspoken,

lest we wake from dreaming

we are mermaids

at peace with the ocean

we love breathing


for we are whatever

gratifies possessive talon

shark teeth frenzied

hag fish half

of two divorced worlds

coupling in slime

where bones

of all the drowned sink down

to final consummation

in the thick ooze

and silent black

of those deep sterile prairies.

Let a burning child stay unfound.

Ignore the ceiling of waves

churning out their confusion

high overhead, no concern of ours

desperate sailors in dark empty seas

whose tall ships are broken.

We’d only wake to drown.