As he goes to bed,
you want to reassure him
because in 8 years
he’ll be a man
with much to learn
if he is
like you were.

Tell him something,
that there are no bad men
in the world,
just misunderstandings
and extenuating circumstances.

That mushroom clouds
are just homemade aurora borealis.
(Didn’t he read about that
in the science work you helped with?)

But as you question
whether you can sell him
on these warm lies,
he reminds you he’s just 10
by coming back in
and asking if you’ll tuck him in.
Better let him hold on
to 10 as long as he can.

-GD Butler

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