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Tuesday, June 14, 2022


by Jared Povanda

I will shower him with love. 

I will listen to him
and encourage him to cry
while teaching him how to 
use the potty.

I will read to him about 
kind animals: the mouse and the rabbit 
and how they’ve never hurt a soul.

I will only let him play E-rated video games, 
and I will explain to him the privilege 
of being white and male and how that 
doesn’t make him better than anyone else.

I will monitor his time online.
I will know who his friends are.
I won’t let him watch TV or 
movies where guns are present.

I will show him how to vent his anger
through needlepoint. 
Or drawing or writing poems. Picking dandelions 
until his soft palms yellow with pollen 
like a rabbit’s twitching mouth.

But this is all conjecture.
I will never have a son.

I know nothing about being 
a parent in a world designed for violence 
and manipulative, racist indoctrination 
of which none of us are wholly immune.
Least of all myself.

But if I did know everything, I would
do all of these things to save my son.

And it still might not be enough. 

Jared Povanda is a writer, poet, and freelance editor from upstate New York. His work has been published or is forthcoming in numerous literary journals including Wigleaf, The Citron Review, and Uncharted Magazine. You can find him online @JaredPovanda and in the Poets & Writers Directory.