How could I let them suffocate and stifle her?
Ignore everything she had to express before her eyes
Teared up in disappointment, disillusionment and numbness.
I will never forget the abandoned look on her face.
How she held on to me with her gaze, to hope and comradery.
And I couldn’t step up, couldn’t underline her values and ethics
And dreams, my very own. I shattered her heart and mine.
Nobody could know, they pressed and tightened the malice of
Their hands and I pretended to smile as I was losing all faith.
She had been born into my protection, and she would never leave
My body. I let them ransack me and her, continuously.
She would have done everything in her power to maintain our unison.
I encouraged it, I was afraid, a coward, insecure and out of touch.
I let them all attack her, condemn her, bully her even though she
Belonged to me and never had she done anything else than love me
And stand by my side no matter how violent the flood. My spine cracked
And I cannot remember when it was, why and who did it.
Her voice still echoes across the bonework of my body.
I want to hear her, I let the reductive words get in, I listened
And obeyed when I shouldn’t have. It is terrifying that it is
Adults and schools and systems and societies that break children,
Conform them, reduce them to empty copies, setting up borders and
Limits in their minds, their dreams, their bodies, their worlds and beliefs.
Age does not equal wisdom. The old should be the most valuable to society,
Instead they are discarded, disconnected, stagnant, uninterested or close-minded.
Old dogmas are repeated, useless patterns of life transferred from one dysfunctional
Generation to another without questioning and scepticism or self-awareness.
Children are the best teachers and we massacre and bore and reduce their minds
Because we think we’re always right. We make them bitter, “realistic”, anxious and
Crippled and think we prepare them adequately. We destroy them thinking we form
Them in our image and we don’t even know what that means. The spirit of a child is the
Most precious and fragile thing and we guide it into our mediocre and monotone deathtraps.
“Lucrezia” by Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1656)