Inspiration

We accept responsibility for Children

Who sneak popsicles before supper,
Who erase holes in math workbooks,
Who never find their shoes.

And we accept responsibility for those

Who can’t bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers,
Who are born in places we wouldn’t be caught dead,
Who never go to the circus,
Who live in an X-rated world.

And we accept responsibility for children

Who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
Who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.

And we accept responsibility for those

Who never get dessert,
Who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,
Who can’t find any bread to steal,
Who don’t have rooms to clean up,
Whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s dresser,
Whose monsters are real.

We accept responsibility for those

Who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
Who like ghost stories,
Who shove dirty clothes under the bed, and never rinse
out the tub,
Who get visits from the tooth fairy.

And we accept responsibility for those

Whose nightmares come in the daytime,
Who have never seen a dentist,
Who aren’t spoiled by anybody.

We accept responsibility for children

who want to be carried and for those who must,
For those we never give up on, and for those who don’t get a second chance.
For those we smother…

and for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.

**Adapted from Ina J. Hughes


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