Kids figure that something has been stolen from them…
what they could have been,
what they could have had,
what they could have done.
The whole world that could have been.
The world that they imagined that we had.

Look, it’s hard to argue
All except for that future part,
Because that’s not as true as it sounds.

It’s understandable, but it isn’t so…
they never had the future they figured that we stole from them.
It wasn’t there before they were born.
We don’t have it either.
Nobody does.

You hear the teeth clenching.
You can hear the teeth gnashing.
Because that’s one of the things that kids are doing with their present.
They are burnt.
And they are blistered by the “goneness” of the future that they never had.

If we’ve stolen anything from them, then maybe, maybe, it’s their “now”.
Because “now”‘s the thing that nobody wants anymore.
It’s too messed up.

Now is an orphan.

And each day the kids are going along with that.
Not protesting it so much, as agreeing to it.
Agreeing that they’ve been stolen from.

Ah grievance, grievance, will do that to you.
Trauma on the instalment plan.

Come on now.
Being pissed does not make you wise.
Knowing who the bad guys are,
does not make it bearable or doable.

But it’s a must be doable, now.

That’s what time it is.


Photo by Hillie Chan on Unsplash

Stephen Jenkinson

Orphan Wisdom

Orphan Wisdom is the home of Stephen Jenkinson’s writing and teaching work. Orphan Wisdom is a teaching house for the skills of deep living and making human culture. It is a redemptive project that comes from where we come from. It is rooted in knowing history, being claimed by ancestry, working for a time we won’t see.​

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