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Josh Luckenbach

The World That We Were Children In

This is the world that we were children in.
It’s out the window there, beyond the mist
as first light rises above the calm and din.

The paper swells with every possible sin,
but deporting a two-month-old might top the list.
This is the world that we were children in.

I turn the page and cops have done it again:
attacked a nine-year-old Black girl, cuffed her wrists.
This time she’s still alive in the calm turned din.

I’ve always cried over news, but since my son
was born the crying’s worse. It’s so unjust—
this world that all of us were children in.

Born all those years ago into this skin,
into a small town, into a decent caste,
I didn’t know certain kinds of calm and din.

Part of what gets me is this: the congressmen,
the ICE agents, the president, every capitalist—
this is the world they too were children in;

someone likely held them closely way back when,
in a time before they knew a kiss from a fist.
Each left the womb’s dark calm for the world’s bright din.

A hundred bombs the new administration
dropped this week. How many breathed their last
of this world’s calm and din?

                                                  Damn. . . God damn. . .
This is it: the world we have our children in.

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