We buy all this food.
Thousands of acres of grapes and rolled oats before they are rolled.
We buy the banks of the Mississippi and the tundra between one Serengeti
and another Mojave.
Sometimes, on a whim,
I go out and get a shopping cart of bones and water.
The kids can’t get enough.
They eat and sing and fart and blow.
That’s the one thing about being a parent
that no one every mentions. Massive consumption.
An endless loop of Western Civilization,
of American thievery and piggery.
Twelve acres of Ho-Hos.
Thirteen thousand bottles of Twitter tweets.
I am sure there are kids in other worlds
that could not conceive of the barrel of stuff, which lives in the front yard.
I want to go there. Wherever there is.
With my kids.
Sit them down inside a stone building and say look:
There’s one dinosaur in the corner. That’s it.
Her name is Françoise
and then there is the grass.
Hours and hours of grass, right outside.
Go to it.
Be in it.
Soft and quiet and wild.
Make boats and computers and oceans and blankets.
Then, when you come home hungry and tired
we will eat the same chicken and dates,
those and figs and moonbeams,
and that will be everything.
It will be all you get.
Copyright © 2020 Matthew Lippman
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.