Raise Them Up

A. LaFaye is an associate professor of creative writing at Greenville University who wrote the novel-in-verse Pretty Omens and has published poems in El Portal, TipsyLit, and FORTH Magazine. She’s also published over a dozen works of fiction, including the novel Worth and the short story The Weekend previously published on Visitant.


Raise Them Up

Those daring eyes of marvel
stomping out new paths one
muddy footprint at a time,
the boundary-breaking wills
bounding on the trampoline,
the synaptic expansions
mapped in crayon, glue
and stain-scarred tables

Raise them up
in the ways you
want them to follow:

quilt-tucking love,
a lesson by lesson regard for talent.
& then heart-expansion of pride when
they are the one to lend an instructing hand
to the classmate who can’t grip the scissors

So why am I
reminding
re-explaining
ripping my hair out

resetting battered boundaries,
taking away new privileges,
to torrents of tears,
wading through waves of doubt,
buffeted by harsh cries of kid-hard criticism

The answer comes
sand poured from a
beach-bound shoe
left behind at a full run

from these grains
a sphinx was formed
in a desert of its kind
foundation by foundation
layer
by

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