Child Protection


Once, everything felt like threat.

Only my body


could keep yours alive.

We’d get up to check your breathing:


it was shallow and warm

on my cheek.


The whole world swam

in its tide.


I gazed into the dark

where no monsters were;


built fences to keep you



put the matches

up on the highest shelf.


I took on the wolf

with my own weak teeth



will you not be my child,


would I not hold you,

wrap you in blankets of stars,


sweep stones from your path

so you won’t fall.


I will hold your hand by habit

on the road.


and you ask would I die for you –

a thousand times over


but the fences are growing smaller

and you should climb them.


I am giving you the matches.

Now make fire.