love letter to the babies/they are all ours

they are all ours
don’t let the sickness infect you
that division
that says these children matter
these don’t
they are ours,
holding guns children
sweat on brow
death in their eyes
they are ours
freckles, hair flopping
running from the teacher’s son
death in their eyes

they come from our bodies
from our hard work
from our dreams
from our desires
and they need us to hold them close
so they can become themselves

they need us in the wilderness
however it appears
within and without
to be that greater love
to answer every question
without violence
to cover them with those kisses
that cause them to giggle
that let them know
from the cosmos
they found a place to belong
on this earth
in this time
in these hands
they are all ours

dear babies,

i cannot sleep, thinking of you.

i went and looked at all your pictures, videos, those beautiful faces, hearing your forming voices lifting all of your questions and demands, your expectations and futures bursting off the screen.

i have spent my life wondering about good and evil, heaven, hell, life on other planets, justice on this one. i have sought the cause, the root, the place to put blame. i have spent millions of hours developing theories about all of these things, and building my fury and grief, weeping and wanting to know what could make the world good enough for the possibility of you.

and then you came. from other wombs and other stories, but i knew you were also mine. i held you in my arms for the first time, felt your weight upon my chest, the shape of your whole fluttering life becoming solid in my hands. and i realized my ideas and theories would never come to life soon enough. to love a child is to know the limitations of time, and the horror of being in a particular moment of time, a hollowed out age where babies are collateral damage for borders and egos, among other things.

everyday the world reminds me that i cannot protect you. i don’t know if protecting children has been possible yet on this earth. i just believe that what we do, or allow to possibly be done, to our babies, in this world, at this time – that is the measure of our humanity.

it’s quite possible that this is the purpose of our evolution, to reach a point where we do nothing which takes away from childhood, that protecting childhood is how we grow healthy societies. that the safe unfolding of children into adults shapes every aspect of the worlds we build.

perhaps…

but now? even as a warning i can’t whisper the horrors of what we allow to happen to you. some of us, we do our best, but we are all traumatized, living in a competitive society where violence is normalized and vulnerability is shamed.

how many of us were taught how to live with a switch or belt on our backsides? what world does that create? the small violence opens the door, the gateway drug of violence as control and discipline, it is intoxicating.

and every hour there is more. it is a more thoroughly interconnected world – we cannot pretend we don’t know the violence, genocides, and injustices happening in our cities, in the country, around the world. we cannot even pretend we are not fascinated by, obsessed with, the violence. it is our news, our movies, our music, our video games, our foreign policy, our right, our sickness.

baby boy, baby girl, we who hold your future in our hands are woven into the fabric of violence which is suffocating our species.

so we must do the impossible, and liberate ourselves.

i won’t be defeated by the immensity of the task – my love is unconditional. especially when the conditions are violence, abuse, trauma and scarcity. that is the state in which i give you my heart. love is what i want to be best at.

i don’t want to use the words promise or try with you. i want to give you things that are solid, values that won’t falter under pressure, and a safety that you can create and hold for yourself.

i want to love you without error, i want nothing of my pain to be part of your life, only my devotion to you, my brilliant love. i want you feel and taste the freedom of safety. i don’t want you to worry, to feel scarcity, to live your life in a constant state of defense.

because i long for what you are and what you are becoming.

so – i turn away from anything that could hurt you.
i seek out violence in myself and attend to the wounds that cause it.
i generate compassion in myself, particularly with those who hurt or wrong me.
i turn away from those who live defensively, and turn towards those who let love guide them.
i learn new ways to handle conflict, no matter how much harder they are than giving into anger and fighting.
i conjure up change in myself, my greatest self, to be worthy of you being in my life.

you are recreating me. i love you and i am so grateful for you. i will give my all to make this a world worthy of the miracle of you.

auntie.

they are all ours
that is, why we are here
to hold them close to our hearts
let them run fingers
over the tips of the wheat
lick sunlight from their palms
and find the place without nightmares
in our arms
before dawn

they are all of them ours
our karma and creators
the only test
for our species
over and over given
the air, the food, the water,
their skin, their unique way
their smiles

their smaller hearts
pounding inside our bodies from the moment
we are born
ancestral
unpromised
they are ours
they are all of them ours
they are all ours

3 Responses to “love letter to the babies/they are all ours”


  1. 1 abw

    you wrote words from my own heart and articulated them in the most perfect way. thank you so very much. thank you. a million times thank you.

  2. 2 Ericka Forman

    This is a beautiful expression of love for children. The children who were harmed and killed Friday and those who were not. I will try to hold and love my children and all others in my heart so they will feel safe in an unsafe world. If only the world were just a bit safer. Thank you for the words that express the feelings that well up within me, but I can not express so eloquently.

  3. 3 nazbah

    thanks for making this world possible again with your words

  1. 1 Obama addresses Newtown, “Can we say we are powerless in the face of such carnage?”

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