To the Youth, Fighting the Apocalypse

To the Youth, Fighting the Apocalypse

When you are very young
The grownups tell you stories
About how evil inhaled deep,
Preparing to snuff out the world, until
A few ordinary people took hands
And decided to be heroes.

When you are a little older
Your teacher rolls down the projector screen
And tells you with graphs and dates
And exponential functions
How and why and when
The world you are learning how to live in
Could be snuffed out.
“Pay attention,” she says.
“There will be a test.”

In the hallway, after class
You turn to your friends,
And take their hands,
And decide to be heroes.

Then the grownups tell you
You don’t yet know enough
To make a difference;
In fact, you know so little
That your words of fear and hope,
Your fight for your own future
Cannot be you own.

Do not listen!
Inside every adult
Who tells you to stay silent
Is a child who obeyed,
Hung up their questing cloak
For the suit jacket of excuses
Fools call maturity.
You frighten them, because you prove
They had another choice.

Image DAVID HOLT / CC BY 2.0

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