Poem #13: To My Future Daughter

The world can be cruel, daughter;

I will read you fairy tales

Where peasants always get their princes

And there’s always a happily ever after

Just waiting around the corner,

But these are lies, daughter,

One I will tell you convincingly.

I fear the day you come to see through the lies,

The day the world breaks your heart

And shatters your dreams.

Oh daughter, it is a cruel place,

And you will want to be cruel with it.

Don’t fall to despair.

The world may not be all you’d hoped,

But it can be. It can get there

If you and your fellow generation

Recognize what we could not –

That anger begets anger

And violence begets violence,

And even the smallest of kindnesses

Can change a man’s entire world.

Daughter, it is true that the world is cruel,

And you should be careful not to let it

Take advantage of you.

But daughter, fight the temptation

To fight fire with fire,

For that only ends with the world

In ashes at your feet.

Give your kindnesses freely, but warily, daughter

And remember that the world

Is only as good as we make it.


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