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

safe;

 

put the matches

up on the highest shelf.

 

I took on the wolf

with my own weak teeth

 

Never

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.